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Antri-retroviral Drugs Vanish in Zimbabwe's Manicaland Region

People living with HIV/AIDS in Mutare and Mutasa districts say they are having difficulties accessing the much-needed monthly rations of cotri-moxazole under the anti-retroviral therapy or art plan.

Many say they have gone for months without proper medication resulting in failing to take their prescribed guidelines. The availability of anti-retroviral medicine is erratic in Manicaland Province. Many people living with the HIV virus are being forced to walk long distances in search of the life-saving drugs.

Casper Pound, who is living positively with the virus, said even after walking the long distances to get access to treatment, many fail to get the medication.

Pound said in most cases, those living with the virus end up getting treatment that is meant to be for infants due to lack of proper medication.

He said people living positively now want to be involved at every level in drug procurement and distribution in the country so that everyone can have access to proper medication.

Another resident, Ms Magret Upenyu, said she has gone for months without getting her medication.

“I have gone for nine months and have not got anything, I am waiting for the full coaurse and am suffuring,” said Upenyu.
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An organisation which caters for people living positively with HIV, Family Aids Support Orgainisation - headed by Pound - demands that they get free medication and involvement in activities which have a bearing on their needs.

Mutare Provincial Hospital superitendant, Abdul Ijaz, said his hospital disposed expired cotri-moxazoles last December after they received the consignment late.