77°FFairFull Forecast

13 million Africans with HIV/AIDS have no access to treatment

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013 1:00 p.m. CDT

CAPE TOWN, South Africa — About 13 million HIV-positive Africans still don't have access to the life-saving medication they require, the non-profit World Aids Campaign said Wednesday, the final day of the African AIDS conference in Cape Town.

People living in West and Central Africa are the worst affected by HIV and AIDS on the continent. Only a third of them have access to treatment, according to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, or UNAIDS.

The main reasons for the lack of access are inventory shortages, corruption, mismanagement and a lack of political will to make sufficient funds available, delegates said at the conference, which began last Saturday in Cape Town.

Global AIDS funding falls about a fifth short of the annual 24 billion dollars necessary to get a handle on the disease, according to UNAIDS.

"HIV testing needs to be simpler, quicker, more cost-effective and more widely available, so that we can fast-track life-saving treatments," said Michel Sidibe, executive director at UNAIDS.

The situation in southern Africa, meanwhile, has improved. High HIV/AIDS prevalence countries — including South Africa, Malawi and Kenya — have increased access to treatment by up to 80 percent, UNAIDS data shows.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

National video

Reader Poll

Germany beat Argentina for the World Cup title. Did you watch any World Cup soccer games?