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Global Health
June 21, 2016

Focus on HIV in West and Central African Countries

JAMA. 2016;315(23):2513. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.7505

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 (http://bit.ly/1qQFYcS).

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.

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