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Agence France-Presse
DR Congo HIV patients have little access to anti-retrovirals

January 25, 2012

KINSHASA, Jan 25, 2012 (AFP) - Eighty-six percent of HIV-positive people in
the Democratic Republic of Congo have no access to anti-retrovirals, medical
charity Doctors Without Borders said Wednesday.

"The conditions of access to care for people living with HIV/AIDS in the
Democratic Republic of Congo are catastrophic," the Belgian wing of
Swiss-based Medecins Sans Frontieres, Doctors without Borders or MSF said in a

Of the former Belgian colony's 68 million people, more than one million are
carrying the virus that can lead to AIDS. MSF said 350,000 of them should be
getting drug therapy but last year, only 44,000, about 14 percent, were.

In sub-Saharan Africa, about 49 percent of people living with HIV can get
anti-retroviral treatment, the group said.

MSF added that only one percent of pregnant women with HIV were getting ARV

The problem is exacerbated with many Congolese expected to pay for
treatment, even though two-thirds of the population lives on $1.25 (96 euro
cents) a day.

International donors are giving less money to the HIV fight, MSF noted,
with the global financial crisis squeezing aid budgets.