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Govt To Offer Free HIV Drugs

By Vision Reporter

Added 9th September 2001 03:00 AM

DRUGS for the prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission are to be available free of charge for all women who test HIV positive, President Yoweri Museveni said yesterday.

DRUGS for the prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission are to be available free of charge for all women who test HIV positive, President Yoweri Museveni said yesterday. Charles Wendo reports that Museveni said this in a speech read by health minister Jimmy Muhwezi at the opening of the third conference on the Global Strategies for the Prevention of HIV Transmission from Mothers to Infants, at the Kampala International Conference Centre. He said Boeringer Ingelheim of Germany had agreed to supply nevirapine, a drug that reduces the chances of mother-to-child HIV transmission by half, free of charge. “This opportunity should not be missed by HIV positive women,” he said. Museveni said whereas adults mostly get HIV infection from their lifestyles, infants who acquire it from their mothers do no get it by choice and need protection. “Though the infection of adults is a tragedy, the infection of infants from mothers is the tragedy of tragedies,” he said. He urged men to take HIV tests and avoid fathering more children if they have HIV. This, he said, would reduce the chances of producing more children with HIV. He said the current rate at which children are produced with HIV is “unacceptably high.” Earlier, Uganda was among four countries given special awards for contributions towards the prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission. The others were Botswana, Brazil and Thailand. The conference is expected to map out ways to expand the treatments for the prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission. Conference co-chairman Prof. Francis Miiro said whereas scientists have devised ways of reducing mother-to-child HIV transmission, the benefits have not yet percolated to the grassroots. Ends

Govt To Offer Free HIV Drugs

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