God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensées of a Catholic priest

How Cheap Drugs From India Fought Against HIV

The court victory again Novartis in India is essential for cheaper drugs available in developing countries.

 

yourwellnessdiabetes

Do Monthly Bone Drugs Benefit You More Than Weekly MedsIn the mid-1990s in sub-Saharan Africa, HIV and AIDS were decimating the populace. Families, communities and workplaces were torn apart by these crippling and debilitating conditions and there didn’t seem to be any end in sight. At that time, HIV medicine cost a staggering $10,000 per person per year. And that world just seemed to accept that many people were priced out of treatment and there was nothing that could be done about that.

But that wasn’t the prevailing opinion for everyone and so changes were made. In fact, what really made the biggest different was the availability of quality, affordable, generic medicines that were being produced in India. There was a lot of competition between the producers and hardly anyone in India with the condition, and as such, the price dropped enormously. Today it costs around $100 for a year’s treatment.

For the large organisation Médecins Sans Frontières, around…

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Filed under: General, HIV Treatment, Medical and Research, Politics and Society, Reflection, , , , , , , ,

Good news and blood on the hands..

6.2 million people in sub-Saharan Africa are on anti-retroviral treatment in the moment, an unthinkable number of people some years ago. That is the reason why cutting the funding of UNAIDS and the Global Fund would spell out disaster. The opposite should be the case to beat the pandemic: 1.1 million people more on treatment since 2010 – let’s double the number in the next years every year and get the now 56% of people on treatment to the 100%. Treatment is prevention, we would  cut down with new infections a great deal.

Also the price cut from US $ 15.000 to US $ 80 today – what an achievement. Let’s not play with what we have achieved so far because with the exception of South Africa, most treatment programs in sub-Saharan Africa are funded from outside Africa. So we need the world to continue assisting us in the fight. And not only in funding, but also in watching out when doing trade agreements. 80% of all drugs coming here are from India. And we know that some European states and the USA are trying to cut down on the Indian ability to produce those life-saving drugs for trademark infringements. Every trade agreement which stops India to produce those drugs is a death sentence for people in Africa and in other places around the world. So one can only ask those in charge of negotiations to have these facts in mind and not ending up to sign up for bi-lateral agreements with the consequence of having blood on their hands.

Filed under: General, HIV Prevention, HIV Treatment, Medical and Research, Networking, Politics and Society, Society and living environment, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Danger looming….

HIV/AIDS is shifting out of the eye of the public – it seems that the drugs available transformed a deadly disease into a chronic one. Only people deeper involved notice that we have not yet turned the tide and that still millions dying as a consequence of HIV/AIDS.

There are many reasons for things could go terribly wrong again and just as food for thoughts I want to highlight some of them coming from the political sector:

* India-EU Trade deal

According to UN AIDS 86% of people around the world taking medication the pills come as generics from India. The EU and India negotiating in the moment a free-trade deal which is a danger to the manufacturing of generic medicine because the deal delays or extends patents, requires exclusivity and looks for harsher border controls enforcement rules.

* USA deals

The USA is in the moment negotiating several deals with different partners, amongst them  Mercosur (the common market of South America), but also with Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam (Trans-Pacific partnership trade agreement). In these agreements, the USA pushes for stricter patent rights and new forms of intellectual property enforcement to intercept generics more easily. The trans pacific partnership trade agreement will be a draft for further agreements between the USA and the developing world and threatens the well-being of HIV/AIDS patients around the world while protecting the big pharmaceutical industry.

* Global AIDS Fund and research

The Global AIDS Fund lacks money and more and more countries are not paying in but negotiating one to one agreements with their perspective partner countries. The aim to bring all patients on treatment and to turn the tide is threatened. The financial crisis and the inability of the political elite to modernize economics and bring back stability means that money for research is also getting less. We not only need new drugs, the aim is still to eradicate HIV and AIDS and to create a cure for the syndrome.

 

Filed under: HIV and AIDS, HIV Treatment, Politics and Society, Reflection, , , , , , , , , ,

POZ News: India-EU Trade Deal Could Put Millions With HIV at Risk

Michel Sidibe, executive director of UNAIDS, says that about 86 percent of people with HIV/AIDS around the globe who are on treatment are taking generic ARVs made in India. The European Union (EU) and India are negotiating a free-trade agreement that could delay or restrict the manufacture of generic meds by extending patents, requiring exclusivity and enacting harsher border enforcement rules. Those measures could drive up prices for Indian ARVs, limit dosage options and delay access to treatment.
Further complicating matters, the Indian health minister called homosexuality “a disease, imported from the West.” Ghulam Nabi Azad made the statement at—get this—a recent HIV/AIDS conference. Despite the fact that a video of his comments aired on Indian television, Azad claims he was misquoted and was referring to HIV as a disease. Activists have denounced his comments, and UNAIDS issued a statement supporting efforts by India’s National AIDS Control Organization to battle HIV stigma and to provide HIV services for men who have sex with men and transgender people.

Source:   http://www.poz.com/articles/India_EU_AIDS_2641_20925.shtml

Filed under: HIV and AIDS, HIV Prevention, HIV Treatment, Politics and Society, , , , ,

POZ Magazine: India Expands Female Condom Program

India will expand its female condom program from eight states to 17 in an effort to control HIV rates among female sex workers and other women at high risk, The Times of India reports. The program empowers women to encourage condom use with their partners and to address concerns about male partners’ unwillingness to use protection. The program could expand nationwide once data from the 17 states is reviewed. Nearly 50 percent of new HIV cases annually in India occur among women.

Source: http://www.poz.com/rssredir/articles/India_femalecondom_program_1_18938.shtml

Filed under: HIV and AIDS, HIV Prevention, , , , ,

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