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World Health Organization Publication : Year 2003 ; Issue 9241590858: A Public Health Approach to Antiretroviral Treatment ; Overcoming Constraints

By Ian Grubb

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Book Id: WPLBN0000178295
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 0.2 MB
Reproduction Date: 2005

Title: World Health Organization Publication : Year 2003 ; Issue 9241590858: A Public Health Approach to Antiretroviral Treatment ; Overcoming Constraints  
Author: Ian Grubb
Language: English
Subject: Health., Public health, Wellness programs
Collections: Medical Library Collection, World Health Collection
Publication Date:
Publisher: World Health Organization


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Grubb, I. (n.d.). World Health Organization Publication : Year 2003 ; Issue 9241590858. Retrieved from

Medical Reference Publication

Triple-drug combination antiretroviral (ARV) therapy has remarkable effects on the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS. When it is provided on a large scale, AIDS wards in hospitals are emptied, people living with HIV/AIDS return to their families and jobs and AIDS-related morbidity and mortality fall dramatically 1-6. However, since ARV therapy was introduced in 1996, these benefits have been reserved almost exclusively for industrialized countries, which bear only 5% of the global burden of HIV/AIDS. Of the 38 million people now living with HIV/AIDS in developing countries, between 5 and 6 million in the advanced stages of disease urgently need ARV treatment. Only about 300 000 currently have access to it. In sub-Saharan Africa, more than 4 million people need treatment, but only 50 000 have access, slightly less than 2% of those in need 7. This disparity is unacceptable given that effective treatment is available. A growing, global movement of people living with HIV/AIDS and their advocates, civil society organizations, health professionals, philanthropic foundations, international agencies, governments and private corporations is now working to reverse this injustice. The efforts of this movement have helped to shape a global consensus that allowing millions of deaths from a treatable disease is intolerable and that prevention strategies alone are insufficient to contain the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Treatment and care are therefore the crucial, missing link in the global response because, by alleviating suffering, reducing stigma and mitigating the economic and social impact of disease, they can reinforce the fight against HIV/AIDS. Positive developments in the last few years mean that, for the first time, ARV therapy is now within the reach of developing countries. Drug prices have fallen as a result of the Accelerating Access Initiative 8 and increased generic competition in the pharmaceutical sector. New funding is available to support treatment and care from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the World Bank Multi- Country HIV/AIDS Programme for the Africa Region. Resources for access to care are likely to grow significantly in the future, for example through support from the United States, which has passed legislation authorizing such support 9. In 2002, WHO released new guidelines on scaling up access to ARV treatment in resource-limited settings 10 and included 12 antiretroviral drugs in the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines 11. To ensure access to quality drugs for the treatment of HIV-infected people, WHO initiated a programme to prequalify HIV/AIDS medicines 12.

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