Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
Brazil to Assist Other Portuguese-Speaking Nations in Fighting HIV/AIDS
Brazil will share its HIV/AIDS "know-how" with other Portuguese-speaking nations as part of a plan that was expected to be signed yesterday by members of the Community of Portuguese-Language Countries, Reuters reports. The group, which met in Brazil's capital this week, will seek $30 million from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to facilitate the exchange of pharmaceutical technology, treatment advice and prevention campaign strategies from Brazil to members of the group, which includes Portugal, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bisseau, Sao Tome and Principe, Mozambique, Angola and East Timor (Reuters, 7/31). The Brazilian Ministry of Health manufactures generic versions of patented AIDS drugs in local laboratories as part of its national HIV/AIDS program, lowering the annual cost of treatment to about $1,000 per person. Brazil's actions had raised strong objections from pharmaceutical companies and the U.S. government, but opposition has decreased since a declaration last fall by the World Trade Organization stated that international patent rights "do not take precedence over public health crises" (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 7/10). Among the nations in the Portuguese community, Mozambique and Angola are especially hard hit by HIV/AIDS, with infection rates of 13% and 6%, respectively. A spokesperson for Brazil's AIDS program said that the $30 million grant would "not [be] sufficient" for fighting the disease on a widespread basis but said the money "is a start" (Reuters, 7/31).
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