Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

New Coalition for Access to Antiretrovirals. (WHO News)

Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

New Coalition for Access to Antiretrovirals. (WHO News)

Article excerpt

A new alliance has been formed to increase access to antiretroviral drugs in low- and middle-income countries. Named the International HIV Treatment Action Coalition (ITAC), it was launched on 12 December in Geneva (Switzerland) and Dakar (Senegal), and pools the efforts of more than 50 partners. These include government bodies, nongovernmental organizations, and private sector, academic and research institutions.

Antiretrovirals are not a cure for AIDS but they help to sustain immunity, and in countries where they are widely available they have dramatically reduced HIV-related illness and death. Of the 3.1 million AIDS deaths which occurred in 2002, 99% were in poorer countries. WHO estimates that only 5% of those who need antiretrovirals in these countries are getting them. In sub-Saharan Africa, the proportion is thought to be more like 1%.

Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, Director-General of WHO, expressed the idea that unites the Coalition as follows: "Does anyone deserve to be sentenced to death because she or he cannot access care that costs less than $ 2 a day? …

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