AIDS drugs not stopping epidemic in Africa

June 21, 2007

Doctors say AIDS is spreading in Africa faster than clinics can treat it, despite billions of dollars spent expanding access to antiretroviral drugs.

"At the moment, I just see a never-ending sea of disaster," Francois Venter, president of the Southern African HIV Clinicians Society, told The New York Times.

U.N. reports say that for every South African who started taking antiretroviral drugs last year, five others contracted HIV, the newspaper said Wednesday.

Researchers say a South African turning 15 today has a nearly 50 percent chance of contracting the virus in his or her lifetime.

Doctors said the problem isn't a lack of AIDS drugs, it is the inability of prevention programs to curb the behavior driving the epidemic.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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