Brazil and South Africa Sign Health DeclarationBrazilian health officials have agreed to assist South African health officials with "the transfer of necessary skills and expertise if South Africa decides to produce" generic HIV/AIDs drugs locally, WOZA Internet/allAfrica.com reports. The agreement between the two countries occurred Thursday, at the end of a five-day visit to Brazil by a South African health department delegation. Brazil has been touted as a health model for the developing world because of the breadth and comprehensiveness of its public health response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, which "fully integrates" prevention and care. The South African delegation was particularly interested in how Brazil has used state-owned laboratories to produce pharmaceuticals needed by its health program -- including antiretroviral drugs -- at a reduced cost. Brazilian officials have offered to help South Africa if it wishes to build a similar program and also expressed an interest in working together in multinational health forums.
No Progress Seen With Pharmaceuticals
The visit coincided with the annual meeting of the governing body of UNAIDS, which began Thursday in Rio de Janeiro. The conference aimed to make headway on negotiations with five pharmaceutical manufacturers to lower the price of HIV/AIDS drugs. The UNAIDS Contact Group on Accelerating Access to HIV/AIDS-related Care reported that no progress had been made and that during the meeting a representative of the five pharmaceutical companies declined to discuss reducing the price of related drugs (Harvey, WOZA Internet/allAfrica.com, 12/15).