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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
BURKINA FASO: More Money Needed to Guarantee the Availability of ARVs
Brahima Ouedraogo
February 28, 2012
Inter Press Service (Johannesburg) (02.14.12) - Tuesday,

Burkina Faso's Network for Access to Essential Medicines (RAME) is urging the government to commit the funding necessary to ensure the uninterrupted supply of AIDS treatment and testing supplies. In January, the government announced an emergency infusion of about 1 billion CFA francs (US $2 million) to procure AIDS drugs.

However, permanent measures are needed, advocates said. Many AIDS associations are no longer putting new patients on ARVs due to limited stock.

"It was good to see the government recognize its responsibility ... but it's not enough given the need to continue to put new people into treatment regimes as well as maintain care for older patients," said Simon Kabore, RAME's coordinator. Some people died waiting for treatment, and for several months current patients could not get their regular monitoring at health centers, Kabore said.

If nothing is done by Mar. 31, disruptions will affect both the registration of new patients and those currently in treatment, said Andre Joseph Tiendrebeogo, permanent secretary of the government's National Council for the Fight Against AIDS and STIs.

"We stopped new enrollments at the end of 2010, and we have lost a dozen patients because most of those ill who received care for free are in the informal sector and cannot take over the payments," said Martine Somda of the patient association REVS+, which is based in the western city of Bobo-Dioulasso. For several months, 60 people could not access ARVs due to insufficient stock, Somda said. Testing supplies to evaluate patients on treatment, such as for CD4 count and liver function, also need to be rebuilt, as they are in danger of running short, she said.