Here is the article I woke up to on this Independence Day...which by the way- is a glorious day for these hostages freed in Columbia after 5 years...after you read this article I leave you with the video of the freed hostages...lest we forget some of the amazing things we should be thankful for this 4th of July.
Quarter of Ethiopia AIDS patients have stopped drugs
Tue 24 Jun 2008
ADDIS ABABA - Over a quarter of Ethiopia's HIV/AIDS patients on drugs are not taking their medicine because of logistical problems but also due to religious beliefs, the head of a treatment body said on Tuesday.
Over 40,000 of Ethiopia's 156,360 HIV/AIDS patients on the life-prolonging medication have discontinued treatment "due to problems of transportation to hospitals," said Dr Ygeremu Abebe, the director of the Clinton Foundation in Ethiopia.
Some however stopped taking the anti-retroviral medicine on the prompting of religious leaders who encouraged them to take "holy water" instead, he said.
"Lack of awareness of serious health problem for patients who discontinue treatment could also be considered a reason," Ygeremu told a workshop on the disease.
Some 20 percent of 7,000 children with the illness have also stopped medication, he said.
Last year, the head of Ethiopia's Orthodox Church told about 5,000 faithful, most of who were infected, that they should combine the free drugs -- provided under U.S. President George W. Bush's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief -- with the holy water.
With more than 1.7 million people living with HIV/AIDS, Ethiopia is one of the countries in the world most affected by the epidemic, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Infections in the country are predominantly in urban areas but have in the last several years spread to rural centres all over the country, where 85 percent of Ethiopia's 81 million people live, according to WHO.
And here is something to rejoice about..