HIV/AIDS Health Gap Between Rich and Poor Exacerbated by Private Interest, Opinion Piece Says
"Greed and apathy contribute to the HIV health gap separating the rich and poor," freelance photographer and writer Matt Writtle writes in a Vancouver Sun opinion piece, stating that there is "no better way to appreciate this than by looking at the global public-private partnership launched two years ago called Accelerating Access to HIV/AIDS Care, Treatment and Support." The initiative seeks to reduce the cost of antiretroviral therapy for people in developing nations, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, where some nations spend an average of $10 annually per person on health care. But "rather than allowing cheap, efficient bulk purchasing on a regional basis," drug companies have "insist[ed] on striking supply agreements with individual countries or local health organizations," Writtle states, saying that "[a]s a result, dying people wait." He states that health care "should be a basic right of humanity. But finance and fear seem to dominate this game of death." Writtle, who spent time at the Ivano-Matryonenskaya Children's Hospital in Irkutsk, Russia, observing children affected by the country's growing HIV/AIDS epidemic, concludes that the longer financial interests continue to dominate, "the more innocent children enter the world unable to alter the circumstances of their lives, having no opportunities that others so often take for granted, without parents, without hope" (Writtle, Vancouver Sun, 9/3).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.