Clinton takes cheap AIDS drugs to African children

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton hopes his foundation will help treat more than 60,000 children suffering from HIV/AIDS as part of a plan to fight the disease in poor countries, he said on Sunday.

Clinton was speaking at a children’s hospital in the Mozambique capital of Maputo on the first leg of a six-nation African tour, to see how the AIDS pandemic is affecting children in the world’s poorest continent.

The former president said in April his foundation would spend some $10 million this year on treating 10,000 children afflicted by HIV/AIDS in poor countries, particularly in rural Africa. “We hope to add another 50,000 children next year. We think that at the end of next year we will have about 60 countries buying medicines through my contract and we are negotiating to try to add more producers to it,” Clinton said on Sunday.

The Clinton foundation negotiates with generic manufacturers to supply poor countries with life-prolonging pediatric anti-retroviral drugs at affordable prices.

About half a million children worldwide are estimated to be living with Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), but only a fraction receive treatment, Clinton has said. In impoverished Mozambique, the initiative will help increase the number of children in treatment from 700 to over 6,500 by 2006 and support the creation of the country’s second pediatric HIV care center, in the central region of Beira.

Clinton, 58, left office in 2001. He will also visit Lesotho, South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya and Rwanda.

Provided by ArmMed Media
Revision date: June 20, 2011
Last revised: by Sebastian Scheller, MD, ScD