Roses and thorns for govt on Aids day

2nd December 2003

The World Health Organisation (WHO) announced in Geneva, Switzerland, that three new generic products had been added the list of medicines used in HIV-Aids treatment.

Yesterday also saw the launch of the "three by five strategy" of the WHO and UNAids - the strategy envisioned to treat three million people living with HIV-Aids by 2005.

The products added to the list are fixed-dose triple therapy combinations containing lamivudine, stavudine and nevirapine.

"Their introduction in the list of quality medicines will increase choice and competition, thus contributing to make Aids treatment progressively more affordable".

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said in a statement released in Rome, Italy, that the steady advance of HIV-Aids was plunging rural households in Africa into poverty and hunger.

The FAO said women who lost husbands to the pandemic suffered the worst, often losing farming land, agricultural equipment, livestock and also the ability to grow food for their families.

The organisation said some seven million agricultural workers had died from Aids since 1985 in the 25 most affected countries.

"The most-affected African countries in particular, could lose up to 26% of their agricultural labour force". – Sapa.