Zimbabwean Health Minister David Parirenyatwa said this week that the number of Zimbabweans receiving antiretroviral drug therapy to keep their HIV-positive condition from progressing to AIDS could rise to 120,000 by year?s end, state media said. 

Dr. Parirenyatwa, speaking at a Harare workshop on universal access to ARV drug treatment, said the government and its partners had been steadily increasing the number of people getting treatment, but that more needed to be done, the state-controlled Herald newspaper reported on Wednesday. 

The minister said the total number currently receiving ARV drug therapy had risen to some 80,000 compared with about 50,000 last December.

An estimated 300,000 need the drugs, Dr. Parirenyatwa said, though some HIV/AIDS activists place the number closer to a half million people.

Director Tendayi Kureya of the Development Data Trust, who was present at the workshop, told reporter Ndimyake Mwakalyelye of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that he believes the figure of 80,000 accurately reflects the number on ARV therapy.

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