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Reduction in AIDS drugs prices urged

Health professionals at the recent Zimbabwe Medical Association (ZIMA) annual congress have urged that the cost of anti-AIDS drugs be reduced to give more people access to treatment.

ZIMA secretary-general Dr Paul Chimedza noted that there was also need for foreign currency to be provided at a cheaper rate by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, so that drug companies could manufacture them at least cost, which would translate into lower prices for the final users.

A local newspaper, The Herald, quoted Chimedza as saying, "While the strides that the government has made have to be commended, there is still need to do more. The way things are right now means only those with money can access antiretrovirals and that is not right."

Only two hospitals currently offer antiretroviral therapy, although there are plans to increase the number of HIV/AIDS treatment sites to 14 by the end of the year.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information:

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