Despite its poverty and lack of trained health professionals, Zambia has leapt ahead of its African neighbors in terms of availability of antiretroviral treatment (ARV), PlusNews reports. In 2009, it was ranked fourth on the continent in terms of ARV availability, and its Ministry of Health claims that 78 percent of people with CD4 counts of 200 or less have ARV coverage. This success has been credited to several key elements: a shifting of tasks from professionals to volunteers; strong financial support from abroad; political will on the part of the government, even at the cost of reallocating funds; and a single national program for dealing with HIV, rather than multiple ones.

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