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2005-09-26-Lesotho Providing 6,500 HIV-Positive People With Treatment, Unlikely To Meet Goal of 28,000
Lesotho likely will not reach its goal of providing antiretroviral treatment to 28,000 HIV-positive people by the end of this year, World Health Organization HIV/AIDS Programme Director Jim Kim said on Wednesday, Reuters UK reports. However, he added that the current figure of 6,500 people on therapy "is a start." Lesotho, where nearly 30% of the adult population is HIV-positive, needs additional funding and staff to help distribute medication, Kim said.
Many medical workers in the country recently have died of AIDS-related causes, and the government is battling decreased agricultural production, rising unemployment, an increasing number of orphans and the closure of some textile factories.
The country's goal of treating 28,000 people by the end of this year is part of WHO's 3 by 5 Initiative, which aims to have three million HIV-positive people in developing countries receiving antiretrovirals by the end of 2005. Kim said the 3 by 5 goal is still attainable despite some experts saying it is already out of reach (Reuters UK, 9/21).
A WHO progress report on the initiative released in June said that about one million HIV-positive people in developing countries are receiving antiretroviral drugs, meaning the organization likely will not meet its 3 by 5 goal (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 6/30).