African HIV/AIDS Initiative Opens 6th Location

Published Online: Wednesday, September 1, 2004

Bristol-Myers Squibb's $115 million "SECURE THE FUTURE HIV/AIDS" initiative now has 6 programs operating in southern and West Africa. The newest program is based in the resource-constrained Koulikoro District of Mali. In 2003, the company provided $30 million in grants to fund these 6 groundbreaking approaches to effectively delivering treatment and support for HIV/AIDS patients and their families.

The program is expected to directly benefit >5000 patients who will receive antiretroviral therapy and many thousands more in the long term, as its successful aspects are replicated. Furthermore, a separate grant to South Africa's National Association of People Living with HIV/AIDS will be allocated toward helping build institutional capacity, mobilizing communities, and providing treatment literacy among its membership.

Although a majority of the sites have just become operational, data are already being compiled. For example, the sites have already reached about 20,000 individuals through mobilization activities, screened 821 patients, and enrolled and begun treating or providing care for 494 individuals. Also, 327 patients are undergoing screening procedures and will be enrolled in the next few months.

"The initiative is already on track to enroll at least 1000 patients by the end of 2004 in treatment or support programs of the approximately 5000 expected to participate in the initial 3-year program," said Sebastian Wanless, MD, who directs the medical care and research portion of the effort.

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