Twenty-nine year old Pramote lives in Bangkok and has AIDS. If he’d been able to afford the drugs now routinely prescribed for HIV positive people in the West, he wouldn’t be paralysed and bedridden today. But Pramote is actually one ot the luckier AIDS sufferers in Thailand. With the help of a project run by Medecins sans Frontieres, his family is able to care for him at home – a great improvement on the treatment available to most AIDS patients in the developing world. Ninety per cent of the people infected with HIV today live in developing countries, and most don’t have access to the drugs that could keep them alive because they are still under patent to major pharmaceutical companies – and so simply too expensive for their national health services. This Life programme investigates attempts by Thailand and South Africa to make their own generic versions of anti-retroviral drugs to halt the AIDS epidemic in their countries – and asks why anti-retroviral drugs still aren’t included in their essential drugs lists.
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