Monday, August 15, 2005

Venezuela Update - 7,000 stop receiving HIV treatments

I posted about Venezuela's new $1M dollar HIV prevention initiative and questioned why it was only targetting women and youth when most of the people affected by HIV/AIDS in the country were gay men (and it seemed as if they were totally left out of the media prevention initiative).

I also said that I was checking with some of the local LGBT activists (I would have liked to have been proved wrong, particularly because the article I quoted also mentioned that Venezuela had a unique free access HIV treatment program).

But word now comes that the much championed free HIV treatment access program just dropped 7,000 people from its rolls. According to Santiago Farias, an article published on El Carabobeño on Thursday, August 11th (via Agence France-Presse) claims that - despite the new prevention initiative and the lauded treatment program - Venezuela is struggling to keep HIV positive individuals on its treatment rolls and the non-profit HIV awareness organization Acción Ciudadana Contra el SIDA (ACCI) [Citizen Action Against AIDS] is declaring that the Venezuelan government stopped providing HIV meds to the 7,000 people three weeks ago.

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