Focus on HIV in West and Central African Countries

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June 21, 2016

More than a quarter of all global deaths attributable to HIV occur in the 25 countries within West and Central Africa (WCA), an area in which antiretroviral therapy (ART) coverage rates lag behind those of high-burden countries. A new report from Médecins Sans Frontières highlights the treatment gaps in the WCA countries and describes pilot projects aimed at overcoming some of the obstacles to ART access (

M. J. Friedrich

Most WCA countries have small populations, and average prevalence rates are relatively low compared with those in southern Africa, but they also have weak health systems and other health needs that compete with HIV treatment. Antiretroviral therapy in WCA countries reaches less than a third of the population in need.

Three case studies detailed from countries in the region—Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, and Guinea—demonstrate some of the obstacles to obtaining HIV treatment, such as stigma and inadequate supplies of drugs, and outline opportunities for expanding and accelerating ART coverage.

read more at JAMA