UNAIDS calls for local production of HIV drugs in Africa

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UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé (left) met with the President Alassane Ouattara of Côte d'Ivoire on 27 February in Abidjan.

Manufacturing HIV drugs in Africa would mean faster access and lower prices, according to the head of UNAIDS.

Executive Director Michel Sidibé says many African countries rely heavily on external aid to finance their national AIDS response—and there can be shortfalls in funding.

Mr. Sidibé also says there is an urgent need for a single African drug.

Julie Walker reports.

“Most of the HIV medicine available in Africa is imported from overseas making it not only expensive, but also difficult to get. UNAIDS Director Michel Sidibé says there is an urgent need for home-grown solutions to ensure the long-term availability of these drugs at affordable prices. His comments came during a meeting with President Alassane Ouattara of Côte d'Ivoire. Mr. Sidibé is urging the country to explore more diversified sources of financing such as low-interest loans from the African Development Bank and taxes on the use of mobile phones. Côte d'Ivoire recently reported a funding gap of approximately US $20 million for its national HIV programme”.

Julie Walker, United Nations.

Duration: 42″

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