Arizona Organization Funnels Extra Antiretrovirals to Residents in Mexican Border Towns
The Arizona Daily Star on Sunday profiled International AIDS Empowerment, an organization that helps channel surplus antiretroviral medicines to HIV-positive individuals living in Mexico. The price of antiretroviral drugs places them "out of reach" for most HIV-positive people living in small towns on the Mexican side of the U.S.-Mexico border, the Star reports. The Mexican government last year announced an agreement with Merck & Co. to purchase the company's AIDS drugs at an 80% discount, but many border residents must travel long distances to obtain the drugs at the reduced prices. For more than five years, International AIDS Empowerment has collected surplus antiretroviral drugs from HIV patients in Arizona, New Mexico and other areas to send to Mexican doctors, who distribute the drugs and monitor the patients who are accepted into the program. "Once we adopt a client, we promise to provide triple-combination therapy for as long as they live. We don't adopt as many people, but when we do, we make sure we can take care of them," International AIDS Empowerment Director Skip Rosenthal said (Steller, Arizona Daily Star, 3/17).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.