n Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine - Overcoming barriers to widespread use of antiretrovirals in Africa : conference highlights




At the end of the year 2001, UNAIDS estimated that 25million of the 36 million people living with HIV infection globally resided in sub-Saharan Africa. While the epidemic has stabilised or declined in some parts of Africa, in southern Africa it continues to be explosive. HIV prevalence exceeds 20% in countries such as Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia, in which 30 - 50% of pregnant women in urban areas are HIV-infected. AIDS is now the leading cause of death in sub-Saharan Africa, with tuberculosis (TB) being the leading killer among people with AIDS. The impact of the epidemic is devastating - HIV-related mortality is increasing, hospitals are overflowing, the workforce, including health workers and teachers, is becoming depleted, and the number of orphans is increasing.


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