AIDS battle hampered by poverty - experts

Zimbabwe's battle against HIV/AIDS is being hampered by poverty, some 700 delegates attending the country's first national AIDS conference heard earlier this week.

According to Agence France-Presse, a group of experts examining the impact of anti-AIDS drugs in Zimbabwe found that the drugs were unaffordable in a country where some three-quarters of the population live in poverty.

Phineas Makurira, speaking on behalf of the experts, said: "The issue of poverty ... is one of the factors limiting the access to antiretroviral drugs."

The conference, due to end on Friday, aims to come up with the best strategies and practices for combating HIV/AIDS, which kills an estimated 3,000 Zimbabweans each week.