Sunday, February 27, 2011

HIV patients in the South African township of Umlazi live in fear of being robbed of their live-saving anti-retroviral drugs

They have become attractive targets for gangs who steal their pills, which are then combined with detergent powder and rat poison to make "whoonga" - a highly toxic and addictive street drug. Smokers use it to lace joints, believing the anti-retroviral Stocrin increases the hallucinogenic effects of marijuana - though there is no scientific proof of this. About six million South Africans are infected with HIV and an estimated 700,000 of those are on life-prolonging ARV treatment.

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