US gives Zimbabwe US$57m for HIV/AIDS

Harare- Zimbabwe (PANA) -- The United States said Monday it would give Zimbabwe U S$57 million next year to finance programmes to combat HIV/AIDS.
US Ambassador to Zimbabwe Charles Ray said the aid would mainly be used to procu re anti-retrovial drugs, essential to prolong and improve the quality of life of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWAs).
PLWAs in the country were badly hit in the last few years when an economic crisi s, coupled with Western sanctions, limited drug imports, including anti-retrovial medicines.
The US government, which opposes Zimbabwe's government of President Robert Mugab e, had also barred the country from benefiting from the Global Fund, which was set up to help combat HIV/AIDS in dev eloping countries.
''The American government remains keen to assist Zimbabwe in its fight against H IV and AIDS and we want to make sure that next year the number of people who benefit from our programmes in the fight agai nst HIV and AIDS increase from the current 40,000 people to 49,000,'' Ray said.
''We also want to assure that next year our total assistance to Zimbabwe in vari ous programmes to do with HIV and AIDS reaches US$57 million and the money will further demonstrate the determination of the Am erican government to reduce the effects of HIV and AIDS in Zimbabwe in particular,'' he said.
Although HIV infection rates in the country have gone sharply in recent years, A IDS remains one of the biggest causes of death in Zimbabwe.
An estimated 5,000 people die from AIDS every week.

01 november 2010 08:33:00

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