79,500 people with HIV/AIDS homeless in Zimbabwe

New York (dpa) - An estimated 79,500 people suffering from HIV/AIDS are among the 700,000 who became homeless because of Zimbabwe's demolition of squatters's dwellings, the United Nations said Friday.

By displacing those with HIV/AIDS, the government in Harare has shut them out of heath care, particularly anti-retroviral treatment and home-based care and prevention, U.N. experts who investigated the bulldozing of squatters areas said.

''Operation Restore Order'', purportedly designed to clean up the areas, resulted in 700,000 homeless and 2.4 million people indirectly affected by it, the U.N. experts said.

But the operation also disrupted health care provided to those in need.

''Immediate consequences likely include shortened life expectancy and death owing to lack of treatment,'' the experts said.

The U.N. said life expectancy in Zimbabwe has already dropped to only 33 years because of rampant diseases, malnutrition and exposure to the elements. dpa tn pr


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