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Tiny African Country Djibouti says it can pay for AIDS drugs until 2007
  DJIBOUTI (Reuters) - All HIV/AIDS patients in the tiny Horn of African country of Djibouti will have access to antiretroviral (ARV) drugs until at least 2007, a senior AIDS official said on Thursday.
Omar Ali Ismael, Djibouti's HIV taskforce leader, said the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria had allocated $12 million in June to tackle HIV in Djibouti.
It is estimated 4,000 people will require ARVs by 2007 as their infections advance.
"Everybody in Djibouti, including refugees and legal immigrants, who needs ARVs up to 2007 will be able to receive them free," Ismael said.
The incidence of HIV is low in Djibouti, a country of some 600,000 people.
Neighbouring Ethiopia by contrast has one of the world's highest caseloads. About 3 million of its 67 million people are HIV positive and there are an estimated 1,000 new infections a day.
A WHO report last month said only a few countries could deliver HIV treatment to all, or even the majority, of those in need.
But the Global Fund also noted several problems in tackling AIDS in Djibouti, including its shortage of healthworkers and reliance on foreign experts.


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