Global Fund rushes HIV drugs to Uganda amid shortage

File photo of a doctor drawing blood from a man to check for HIV/AIDS at a mobile testing unit in Ndeeba, a suburb in Uganda's capital KampalaBy Edith Honan KAMPALA (Reuters) – The Global Fund, a partnership that sends HIV drugs to poor countries, says it plans to send a 12-month advance supply of antiretroviral therapy to Uganda, after the East African country ran out three months before the end of last year. Health activists say about 240,000 patients on publicly funded treatment programs were affected by the shortage, which began last September, forcing them to modify their treatments or stop altogether. President Yoweri Museveni is seeking to extend his three decades in power in the Feb. 18 presidential elections In Uganda about 1.5 million people, or about 4 percent of the population, live with the HIV virus, of whom about 820,000 receive antiretroviral (ARV) drugs, which help keep the patient's viral load low and prevent transmission.

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