Former President Clinton During Caribbean Tour Praises Bahamas’ Efforts To Fight AIDS
Former President Clinton on Friday praised the Bahamas' efforts to stem the spread of HIV, noting the country's success in reducing mother-to-child transmission rates from 30% to 3%, the Associated Press reports. Clinton -- who on Friday began a five-day tour of the Caribbean with stops in the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts, the Dominican Republic and Haiti to speak about AIDS and to meet with not-for-profit organizations and government leaders -- speaking at a high school in the Bahamas, said, "No nation has done more to try to face this problem in a brave and forthright way than you have." After leaving office in January 2001, Clinton founded the William J. Clinton Presidential Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative, which brings together experts to work in the Caribbean and Africa to expand access to antiretroviral treatment (Associated Press, 4/4). The foundation assisted the Bahamian government in creating a business plan that calls for the provision of antiretroviral therapy for all HIV-positive people within three years (Clinton Foundation release, 4/2). In addition, the foundation successfully negotiated a deal with the 15-nation Caribbean Community and pharmaceutical companies to lower the cost of antiretroviral drugs for HIV-positive people in the region (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 2/5). In the Bahamas, the cost of antiretroviral drugs dropped from $3,800 per person per year to less than $500 per person annually (Clinton Foundation release, 4/2). Clinton said that the success of the Bahamas could serve as a model for other nations. "If you can reverse and defeat HIV/AIDS in the Bahamas, if we can do it in the Caribbean, then we can do it in the places where the numbers are bigger," he said (Associated Press, 4/4).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.