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AIDs in Africa

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  • Bell, Elizabeth
    HIV Drug Prices Cut for Poorer Countries Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com) (03/08/01) P. A1; Blustein, Paul; Gellman, Barton While health officials
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 8, 2001
      "HIV Drug Prices Cut for Poorer Countries"
      Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com) (03/08/01) P. A1;
      Blustein, Paul; Gellman, Barton
      While health officials admit that Merck's new round of price
      slashing for AIDS drugs in poor nations is still too expensive
      for most governments to handle, they believe that the cost will
      allow international efforts to more easily raise the funds
      necessary for bulk purchases. Merck has been prompted to bring
      its prices to nonprofit levels because of intense pressure from
      activists and government to increase access to AIDS treatments.
      ACT UP Philadelphia's Kate Krauss does question Merck's move in
      light of the fact that the company is part of a lawsuit designed
      to prevent South Africa from increasing its citizens' access to
      more affordable AIDS treatments. Per Wold-Olsen, president of
      human health business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa for
      Merck, feels that public/private partnerships are a better means
      of increasing drug access than price cuts alone.

      "AIDS Drug Battle Deepens in Africa"
      New York Times (www.nytimes.com) (03/08/01) P. 1; Swarns,
      Rachel L.
      Cipla Ltd., a generic drug manufacturing firm in India, has
      requested that the South African government give the company
      permission to sell eight AIDS drugs that are currently available
      only under patent from large drug giants. The controversial
      initiative by Cipla began another battle in the ongoing battle
      over patented medicines between major pharmaceutical companies
      and the South African government. In a letter Wednesday, Cipla
      asked South Africa's Department of Trade and Industry to grant
      compulsory licensing for the drugs, a move that could be
      undertaken on the grounds that demand was not being met at fair
      prices in national emergencies. While such a decision could give
      the company an advantage in the African market, the large
      pharmaceutical companies assert that the higher drug prices are
      needed so they can conduct research.

      "A 'World of Difference' in Reproductive Health Big Surprise:
      High Rate of U.S. Teen Moms"
      USA Today (www.usatoday.com) (03/08/01) P. 8D; Rubin, Rita
      In a study conducted by Population Action International (PAI),
      a Washington, D.C., policy group, and by the international relief
      agency CARE, the United States ranked 15th out of 133 countries
      in an analysis of reproductive health risks. The report
      evaluated countries based on factors like prenatal care, HIV
      infection rates, use of contraception, and abortion laws. Italy
      came in at No. 1, while Ethiopia ranked at the bottom for very
      high risk; most of the countries designated "high risk" or "very
      high risk" are in sub-Saharan Africa. The report noted that
      while the United States scored well on many measures, it has more
      teen mothers than any other industrialized nation. The report
      highlighted the fact that in developing countries, women are 30
      times more likely to die from reproductive-health-related issues.
      For instance, for an Ethiopian woman the chances are one in seven
      that she will die as a result of pregnancy or reproductive
      complications, compared to an American woman whose chance of
      dying under identical circumstances is one in 3,500.

      "Sex Trafficker's Demand for Kids on Rise"
      Atlanta Journal-Constitution (www.accessatlanta.com) (03/08/01)
      P. 20A; Malone, Julia
      A new report led by Laura J. Lederer of the Johns Hopkins
      University's School of Advanced International Studies indicates
      that sex trafficking of women and children is an ever-growing
      global problem. "The simple reason for the growth of trafficking
      in recent years is that it is profitable," the report noted.
      Lederer's Protection Project is the accumulation of data
      documenting sexual slavery in 190 countries, including the United
      States. During an interview on Wednesday, Lederer commented that
      the AIDS epidemic has given sex trafficking a higher price and a
      growing market demand for much younger children who are less
      likely to be infected with HIV.

      "Botswana Diamond Firm to Help Workers With HIV-AIDS"
      Reuters (www.reuters.com) (03/07/01)
      On Wednesday, one of the most significant corporate AIDS funding
      programs was initiated by Botswana's diamond mining giant
      Debswana, which announced that it would pay for antiretroviral
      AIDS drugs for its workers. Debswana, which employs 6,000 people
      at its three mines, has offered to pay 90 percent of the
      treatment costs for one employee and one legally married spouse
      who is HIV-positive. The company--a joint venture between the
      government and industry leader DeBeers--is the world's largest
      source of diamonds by value, accounting for 80 percent of
      Botswana export earnings and 50 percent of government revenues.
      According to United Nation's estimates, Botswana has the world's
      highest incidence of HIV infection, with an adult prevalence rate
      of 35.8 percent.
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