Washington Post Examines HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Zimbabwe, Where Many People Lack Access to Antiretrovirals
The Washington Post on Wednesday examined the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Zimbabwe, where only 3% of the country's HIV-positive residents who need antiretroviral therapy are receiving the drugs. According to the World Health Organization's December 2004 "3 by 5 Progress Report," no other Southern African country is "as far behind" in treating people living with HIV/AIDS, the Post reports. Although an HIV diagnosis is "no longer an unavoidable death sentence" in most parts of the world and many parts of Africa, the "profoundly uneven" way in which "billions of dollars in international aid" is being distributed has "divid[ed] the continent into areas where AIDS is survivable and areas where it is not," the Post reports. In large part because of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's "reputation as one of the most undemocratic and anti-Western African leaders," the "surge" of foreign aid that is helping to prolong the lives of many HIV-positive Africans has "bypassed Zimbabwe almost entirely," according to the Post. The country receives approximately $4 per HIV-positive person in international aid, compared with an average of $74 per HIV-positive person in all of Southern Africa, according to UNICEF. As a result, people in the country have limited access to drugs, and there is a shortage of health care workers and clinics (Timberg, Washington Post, 4/20).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.