[QODLink]
Features
In Pictures: Progress in fight against AIDS
As 20,000 people attend UN AIDS conference, health advocates reflect on possibilities and problems in fighting disease.
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2012 13:16
Protesters in Washington want more action to combat the spread of HIV and AIDS [AFP]

As more than 20,000 people meet for the International AIDS Conference in Washington DC, important progress has been achieved in the fight against the epidemic in developing countries, while so much still needs to be done.

Breakthrough science last year showed that HIV treatment itself not only saves lives, but is an important way of preventing the spread of the virus: people taking antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) are 96 per cent less likely to pass the virus on. HIV treatment is HIV prevention.

By the end of 2011, eight million people were being reached with life-saving antiretroviral therapy in developing countries, which for the first time represents just over half the people in need of treatment. Still, nearly one in two people who urgently require HIV medicines can't access them. 

In the year 2000, treatment from an HIV drug cocktail cost more than $10,000 per person, per year, in some highly affected poor countries such as Thailand, South Africa and Cameroon. Since the, the price of treatment has come down by nearly 99 per cent, to roughly $120 per year. This was possible because the medicines needed to treat HIV were not patented in key countries that could produce more affordable generic versions, such as Brazil,Thailand and India. 

India today provides more than 80 per cent of the ARVs used in donor-funded HIV/AIDS programmes globally. But increasingly, international trade rules and pressure from developed countries and their drug industries threaten to make patenting more widespread, which will in turn restrict the production of affordable generics. Today, the newest HIV medicines, which some people need because they have developed resistance to multiple drugs, cost nearly 15 times more than their first combination.

313

Source:
Doctors Without Borders
Topics in this article
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Indonesia's digerati could be crucial to success in the country's upcoming presidential election.
Featured
Medical patients and doctors fear being targeted by Israeli air strikes, after a bomb killed four at Gaza health centre.
Activists worry that the Protection of Pakistan Act will be used to justify security forces' excesses.
Five Myanmar journalists were recently sentenced to ten years in prison, a move decried by rights groups.
Despite disappointing results on the pitch, many Brazilians are proud of how their country organised the tournament.
US Gulf Coast businesses, congressman want BP to reinstate internal claims programme, pay out reparations for oil spill.
join our mailing list