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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

MALAWI: 20,000 Malawi Children Get Free AIDS Drugs: Official




 

Agence France Presse (09.19.07) - Wednesday, September 19,

Today in Blantyre, a senior Malawian official said "close to 20,000 children" are now receiving antiretrovirals to fight HIV/AIDS. In addition to upping the distribution of AIDS drugs, the government has accelerated efforts to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission, said Mary Shaba, permanent secretary for HIV/AIDS and nutrition in the office of the president. Since 2004, official reports suggest that 26,000 to 30,000 children a year have been infected with HIV, chiefly by their mothers. UNICEF estimates that 83,000 children in Malawi have HIV, of whom 50,000 need drug treatment. An estimated 14 percent of Malawians are HIV-positive, and AIDS has slashed life expectancy to just 36 years. But Shaba noted that the government has increased the number of birthing centers nationwide from 36 in 2004 to 144 at present. "We are getting dividends. we should be getting a different situation within one to two years," Shaba said.



 


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Information in this article was accurate in September 19, 2007. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.