Global Fund rushes HIV drugs to Uganda amid shortage

An article from Reuters
January 25, 2016
The Global Fund, a partnership that sends HIV drugs to poor countries, says it plans to send an advance supply of antiretroviral therapy to Uganda, after the East African country ran out three months before the end of last year.
 
Health activists say the shortage, which began last September, hit about 240,000 patients on publicly funded treatment programs, forcing them to modify their treatment or stop altogether. Private-sector clinics were not affected.
 
The government said a weak currency and insufficient foreign exchange had hampered its ability to finance drug imports.
 
Some activists said they suspected runaway election spending was behind the shortfall, but officials denied the charge.
 
President Yoweri Museveni is seeking to extend his three decades in power in a presidential election on Feb. 18.
 
In Uganda, about 1.5 million people, or about 4 percent of the population, live with the HIV virus, of whom about 820,000 receive antiretroviral (ARV) drugs, which help keep the patient's viral load low and prevent transmission.
 
"The Global Fund has already delivered shipments of drugs as scheduled for existing patients and is front-loading an additional 12-month supply of drugs," Seth Faison, the Fund's head of communications, said in an email response to questions.
 
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