The Togolese government, in partnership with the network of the Central Supply of Essential and Generic Medicines (CAMEG), announced that it will start distributing antiretroviral drugs to HIV/AIDS patients at no cost, according to the International Herald Tribune.
IHT reports around 25,000 Togolese will benefit from the program, starting November 17, up from the near 8,000 who currently have access to drugs from CAMEG.
In the United States, preferred treatment using HAART (Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy) can cost anywhere from $1000-$2000 per month.
The program is a huge step forward; the UN pledged global access to treatment by 2010.‚ As of December 2007, only about 33% of those needing treatment in developing countries were receiving antiretrovirals.
The treatment, according to UN, can severely decrease the amount of HIV virus in the bloodstream, helping to prolong life.
Currently, about 3.2 per cent of the Togolese are HIV positive.