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Life | Brazil: Winning against AIDS

HIV/AIDS sufferers in Brazil today get the same treatment as HIV/AIDS sufferers in the USA and Europe – the same, free ‘triple cocktail’ of anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs, the same clinical care, the same monitoring. So perhaps it’s unsurprising then that Brazil’s HIV/AIDS patients have proved just as capable of taking their medicines on time as Americans or Europeans (the failure rate is exactly the same for Los Angeles and Rio), and that since 1997 the Brazilian government’s national HIV/AIDS programme has proved its cost-effectiveness – halving the death rate from AIDS, preventing thousands of new patients being hospitalized, and helping to stabilize the epidemic.

Refuting the global pharmaceutical companies’ dire warnings that developing countries’ health services just weren’t sophisticated enough to administer ARV drugs correctly – and so would cause a build-up of drug resistance that would threaten the global community, Brazil’s government has helped scupper the arguments that the drugs companies were using to deny AIDS treatment to developing country health services. So is Brazil’s programme the template for AIDS treatment elsewhere, this Life episode asks, and could it be replicated in other countries?
TAGS: health science & technology

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