GLOBAL FUND REINSTATES ARV PROVISION IN SWAZILAND
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has lifted its suspension on providing free anti-AIDS antiretroviral (ARV) treatment to Swaziland. The group stopped supplying ARVs to the country in October 2005, demanding that proper mechanisms be implemented to monitor the distribution of the drugs. Medical management conditions in the country, noted the fund, have now improved, and the ARV program has been reinstated.
In March 2005, the Global Fund approved more than $16 million in ARV funding for Swaziland, which has one of the highest rates of HIV/AIDS in Africa -- 38.6 percent of the population is infected with the disease, second in the world only to Botswana's rate of 40 percent. Approximately 50,000 children in the country have lost one or both parents as a direct result of AIDS, and 60 percent of hospital admissions are due to HIV/AIDS-related illnesses.