Report highlights poor involvement of Francophone Africa in AIDS fight

Kinshasa, DR Congo (PANA) - Francophone Africa is not as involved in the fight against AIDS as the rest of the continent, according to a report presented in Kinshasa, on the sidelines of the 14th Summit of the International Organization of la Francophonie (OIF) holding in the Congolese capital.

The report notes that 43 per cent of people with AIDS have access to treatment in francophone countries, against 59 per cent in the English-speaking countries.

Nearly 50,000 children are born each year with HIV in francophone Africa, the report said, noting that 60 percent of them are in DR Congo alone.

However, the report notes significant progress in funding the fight against the pandemic in some countries like Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau and the Congo.

''An additional US$1.4 billion in international aid over current funding levels will be needed annually by 2015 to fill the gap and achieve the goal of zero new infections, zero AIDS-related deaths and zero discrimination," said UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé, who attended the report's launch.

Significant progress has been made in the fight against the pandemic in Africa, a region with two-thirds of people living with AIDS worldwide.

The cost of treatment has drastically decreased from nearly 15,000 euros a year in 2003 to only 80 euros per year today.

The number of patients with access to anti-retroviral drugs has also increased dramatically, from 26,000 in Francophone countries in 2003 to more than one million in 2011.

Despite enormous efforts made in recent years, AIDS remains the leading cause of death in Africa, behind malaria.
-0- PANA SEI/JSG/JEN 14Oct2012

14 octobre 2012 12:33:34

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