Public warned against bogus AIDS drugs

Ethiopia's Drug Administration and Control Authority (DACA) has cautioned the public against purchasing HIV/AIDS drugs on the black market.

This followed reports that smugglers were passing off illegally imported concoctions as antiretroviral drugs for use by people living with HIV/AIDS.

The Agence France-Presse (AFP) news agency quoted DACA general manager, Haileselassie Bihon, as saying: "Illegally imported drugs of unauthorised quality and unpredictable effects are currently under distribution in the name of antiretrovirals."

Bihon warned that obtaining the correct treatment therapy was vital, as research showed that some people suffered toxic side effects to certain anti-AIDS drugs, while others encountered resistance.

With an estimated three million people living with HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia, only 2,000 have access to antiretroviral drugs through a current government-run pilot project.