Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana Take ‘Rare’ Steps to Provide Access to Anti-HIV Drugs
The Democratic Republic of Congo and Ghana are taking "rare" steps to prevent the spread of HIV, starting efforts to provide access to AIDS treatments, the AP/New York Times reports. In the Republic of Congo, two Brazzaville clinics this week will begin providing the AIDS treatment nevirapine free of charge to HIV-positive pregnant women. The drug, being provided by the German company Boehringer-Ingelheim, has been effective in reducing vertical transmission. The project is part of a larger campaign to educate women about the risk of transmitting HIV to their children and how to prevent such transmission. A second part of the campaign is aimed at encouraging women to take HIV tests. Gertrude Kani, head of one of the private groups that is working with the Congolese government in the "My Child Will Live" campaign, said, "Our job in convincing expectant women to take [an HIV] test before delivery is making clear that today there's a different outlook for the disease: that is to say, it's one you can live with." Meanwhile, Ghana's government is pursuing importing lower-cost nevirapine and other AIDS treatments, Health Minister Richard Anane said. In addition, the government is working with the World Health Organization to begin manufacturing HIV drugs locally by importing the formulas for generic drugs from Thailand and the raw materials from another country (AP/New York Times, 9/1).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.