Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
India Should Spend More Money on AIDS Prevention, Editorial Says
India's experience with AIDS prevention should serve as a "warning to other nations that prevention plans are complex to carry out and take time to show effects -- all the more reason for governments to begin now," a
New York Times editorial states. Except for some sub-Saharan African countries, India "likely has the world's most worrisome AIDS crisis," compounded by "poor" general health conditions, the editorial says. Only recently has the Indian government begun to implement a "well-designed" AIDS prevention campaign. Under the campaign, local governments receive money from the government, World Bank and UNAIDS, much of which they pass on to nongovernmental organizations. To date, the campaign's "biggest achievement" has been to clean the nation's blood supply, the editorial states. However, because the plan is "spottily administered," and the nation started the plan late, it will "take time to show effects," the editorial adds. India's government "still lacks a sense of urgency and has been slow to acknowledge the spread of HIV through homosexual contact," the general public "has yet to pay much attention to AIDS" and some "more backward" states have "done practically nothing" to create AIDS prevention campaigns. In addition, India has done little to prevent women from passing HIV to their newborns, having only now begun pilot projects to administer nevirapine to HIV-positive pregnant women and their newborns. The government also "shamefully" maintains that a generic drug maker's offer of $600 a year for a generic drug combination "is too much and would drain health budgets," the editorial asserts. The "solution is not to let people die of AIDS," the editorial concludes, adding, "India needs to spend more money on health ... and the world needs to create a pool of money to help poor countries like India buy AIDS drugs" (New York Times , 3/27).
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