Almost 20,000 people could die as a result of AIDS over the next seven years if they are not given access to HIV medication, a National AIDS Authority official said yesterday.
At a conference in the capital to announce mid-year transmission rates, Tia Phalla, the NAA vice-chairman, said that although the number of people contracting HIV was declining, only about 53,000 of roughly 72,000 people with HIV/AIDS were receiving medication, leaving the rest at risk.
“If they don’t receive these drugs, we estimate that 19,193 people will die over the next seven years,” he said, adding that funding was crucial.
“[On average], at least 3,074 people die each year [due to AIDS], which is most concerning.”
According to information released by the NAA yesterday, 789 people were infected with HIV in the first six months of the year.
For the period from July 2015 to December 2017, the NAA said, $38-$44 million will be needed for HIV/AIDS issues, about $26 million of which will directly go to treatment.