Botswana Offers Free Anti-retroviral Treatment

Gaborone- Botswana (PANA) -- Botswana President Festus Mogae announced Tuesday that government would soon give free anti-retroviral treatment to all people living with HIV/AIDS in the country.
The president told a group of visiting journalists that Botswana would afford the treatment after getting favourable offers from various pharmaceutical companies.
He said the health budget was increased threefold in the last two years because of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Journalists from Belgium, France, Italy and Switzerland are on a six-day tour of Botswana to get first-hand experience of how the country copes with HIV/AIDS ahead of the 25-27 June UN General Assembly's special session on the epidemic.
Botswana is among countries with a very high HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in the world.
Meanwhile, health minister Joy Phumaphi told the same group that the Catholic Church in Botswana has toned down its opposition to condom use in the fight against the epidemic.
Though it has been actively engaged in the war against HIV/AIDS, the church was quiet when it could not support the use of condoms, the minister said.
Phumaphi, however, expressed worry that revivalist and independent churches were discouraging the use of condoms.

05 june 2001 22:01:00

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