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Zambian Women Lack Access to Subsidized AIDS Drugs

Zambia’s Minister of Health, Brian Chituwo, recently announced that subsidized AIDS drugs will be available for 12,000 people at local public and private hospitals. However, women constitute only 10 percent of those receiving the drugs, while they represent 70 percent of the two million people living with AIDS in Zambia, according to Panos.

Nkundu Luo, the former Zambian health minister, asserts that women are not being specifically targeted and most AIDS programs are geared towards men, reports Panos. In addition, AIDS patients are required to pay 40,000 kwacha (eight dollars) a month to receive the drugs, an amount too costly for a country where the majority of its population lives on less than a dollar a day.

Women make up 57 percent of people infected with HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.

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Sources:

Panos 8/10/04; Mail and Guardian Online 8/1//04; New 24 8/11/04

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