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Aids trials participants stranded

Dart was a five-year clinical trial of ART in 3 300 patients with advanced Aids in Uganda and Zimbabwe that ran between 2000 and 2005.

The trials were meant to investigate whether anti-HIV drugs could be given in the absence of routine laboratory tests and whether the drugs could be given intermittently to reduce toxicity.

One of the participants, Emelia Chamboko (39) of Budiriro said she has struggled to access treatment ever since the trials ended.

“My life is in danger as my health has been deteriorating on a daily basis since I stopped receiving treatment,” she said.

“I once went to Harare Hospital and I explained my situation to the nurses but I was turned away because l did not have a referral letter.

“I can’t get the letter because Dart offices are always closed.”

Chamboko tested HIV-positive in 1999 and became seriously ill in 2002.

She started receiving treatment under Dart and when the programme was still running she did not experience any complications.
“After three years the programme ended and l could not access ARVs,” Chamboko said.

“Right now I am stuck and I don’t know who to approach but my health is deteriorating fast.”

Aids activists believe there are many patients in Chamboko’s situation.

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