South Africa To Spend $274M To Increase Treatment Access, Finance Minister Says
South African Finance Minister Trevor Manuel on Wednesday in his fiscal year 2008 budget speech announced that the government will spend an additional $274 million by 2011 to almost double the number of people with antiretroviral drug access, the AP/Google.com reports.
Manuel said the funding increase will provide an additional 500,000 HIV-positive people with drug access, bringing the total to about 900,000. Mark Heywood of the AIDS Law Project welcomed the new spending plan. According to Heywood, even with the additional funding, about 500,000 people in need of treatment by 2011 will not receive it. There are about 5.5 million people in South Africa living with HIV/AIDS, the AP/Google.com reports (Nullis, AP/Google.com, 2/20).
Text of the budget speech is available online (.pdf). Video of Manuel's budget speech also is available online.