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HIV/AIDS Drugs Facing Africa

Africa, continent devastated by poverty and the civil wars, became one of the continents more touched by the HIV/AIDS. According to UNAIDS, Africa is home to 70% of adults and 80% of children living with HIV in the world.

Not so long ago, testing positive for HIV meant an automatic death sentence. Now things have changed for the better. A combination of drugs introduced about seven years ago has turned AIDS from a death sentence to a treatable disease.

These drugs are very expensive and many African governments do not have the funds to import these drugs. In Africa, fewer than 100,000 people living with HIV have access to antiretroviral treatment and everybody know that AIDS won't wait, this means that a majority of the 25.3 million Africans infected with AIDS won't get the best available treatment and many African HIV/AIDS patients have died and other may follow in the next five years if nothing is made to stop the progress of the AIDS.

To save the African continent, there are two possibilities, the first possibility is to allow African countries, especially those most affected by AIDS to declare a state of emergency and produce affordable generic versions of HIV/AIDS drugs to provide the much needed help to their citizens.

The second is to try to slow new cases through preventive education and encouraging condom use, maybe reduce transmission from mothers to babies. Hardly enough to save African continent, so figuring out how to save the millions who are infected remains an agonizing challenge.

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Correspondence to Ulrich Vivien Kihindou.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( ), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Kihindou, U.V. HIV/AIDS Drugs Facing Africa. Retrovirology 2 (Suppl 1), P49 (2005).

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