Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
Not-For-Profit Organization ‘Recycles’ Antiretrovirals for HIV/AIDS Patients in Developing Nations
Aid for AIDS, a New York City-based not-for-profit organization, collects unused antiretroviral drugs from the United States and Canada and redistributes them to HIV-positive people in developing nations, Reuters Health reports. The drugs, which may have gone unused due to the death of a patient, breaks in treatment or a change in drug regimen, are inventoried, sorted and shipped throughout the developing world. The "recycled" drugs are then distributed to individuals approved through an application process in which clients must provide proof of their HIV status and current information on their medical history, including CD4+ T cell counts. The organization also gives priority to applicants who are AIDS educators or advocates so that the donated medications go to individuals whose continued survival has a "ripple effect, helping prevent the spread" of the disease in their communities. Once accepted, clients must provide CD4+ T cell counts every six months so that Program Director Jaime Valencia can chart their progress. Aid for AIDS Founder Jesus Aguais said that the organization's strong ties to doctors in South America, Central America and Africa has made abuse of the program through the reselling of donated drugs "almost nonexistent," according to Reuters Health. With a budget of $240,000 last year, Aid for AIDS distributed more than $5 million in AIDS-related drugs, Aguais said, adding that the organization hopes to raise additional funds to expand the program (Mundell, Reuters Health, 4/14).
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.