10 Sep 2011

Funding crisis hits Swaziland AIDS patients - MSF

9:12 am on 10 September 2011

An government funding crisis in Swaziland is disrupting supplies of HIV/AIDS drugs.

Medecins Sans Frontiers said on Friday it is hampering the fight against the virus there. Swaziland has the highest infection rate in the world.

The agency says stocks of testing kits and related chemicals were ''almost dry''.

There are more than 200,000 people infected in Swaziland - 26% of the adult population.

Of these, 70,000 patients are on therapy and more than 130,000 people have the virus.

The government resolved in March to pay for patients on therapy.

An appeal has been made to South Africa for an emergency bail-out, after an unsuccessful attempt to secure a loan from the International Monetary Fund.

Pretoria agreed in August to lend $US340 million, but MSF says the deal has stalled.