Conditions

Congo AIDS Deaths at 15,000 in 3 Years as People Wait for Drugs: Medical Group

Congo AIDS
A man suffering from AIDS sits on a chair at the state general hospital in Congo's capital of Kinshasa. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

Doctors Without Borders said Wednesday that about 15,000 AIDS victims in the Democratic Republic of Congo will likely die as they wait for lifesaving drugs in the next three years.

About 85 percent of AIDS patients in need of anti-retroviral medication are not getting any, according to the organization also known as Médecins Sans Frontières.

Medical coordinator Anja De Weggheleire said in a released statement that although the estimated 15,000 dead in three years is a horrifying number it only represents the “tip of the iceberg” since most AIDS victims don’t know they are infected.

“Many will die in silence and neglect,” said Weggheleire.

According to MSF, only one percent of pregnant women with HIV have access to the drugs that prevent them from passing the virus on to their babies.

The organization calls for Congo’s government to push their efforts in preventing the estimated 15,000 deaths in three years by providing free treatment to people living with HIV/AIDS and by calling on donors to immediately gather resources, ensuring that patients who are waiting for ARV treatment will not be as likely to die.

The report said that the pullback by donors “is directly threatening the lives of thousands of people in (Congo).”

Loading...