Demonstrators In Swaziland Express Concern Over Possible Antiretroviral Shortages

More than 3,000 demonstrators gathered across Swaziland on Thursday for a second day of protests over the king’s handling of an economic crisis that they say is causing a shortage of medical supplies, including antiretroviral therapy (ART), the Associated Press/Washington Post reports (7/28).

The Swaziland National Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (SWANNEPHA) has sent a petition to the government’s National Emergency Response Council on HIV/AIDS (NERCHA), stating, “With the release of the ART budget in ‘dribs and drabs’, any patient on ART would be worried when they are not sure if they will get their monthly stock of treatment,” PlusNews writes. “Health Minister Benedict Xaba said on government radio recently that … there were adequate supplies of [antiretrovirals] in stock,” the news service notes, adding that “AIDS activists are not convinced” (7/28).