Head of Brazil’s National STD/AIDS Program Says Country’s Success Due to ‘Strong Social Mobilization’
Dr. Paulo Teixeira, director of Brazil's National STD/AIDS Programme of the Ministry of Health, speaking in an interview with kaisernetwork.org, attributed the success of his country's HIV/AIDS response to "strong social mobilization" and "international principles of human rights." In his new role assisting World Health Organization Director-General Jong-Wook Lee to "recuperate" the organization's leadership in the fight against HIV/AIDS, Teixeira said WHO will "act aggressively with very concrete proposals and have in mind that access to treatment is an emergency." Teixeira said that although antiretroviral drug resistance "is a problem ... [it] is not a reason to stop the access or to make difficult the access to ARV treatment" in developing countries (kaisernetwork.org, 6/20). A study recently published in the journal AIDS showed that the prevalence of drug resistant HIV strains in Brazil is 6.6%, lower than in the United States (15%), Spain (23%), the United Kingdom (14%), Germany (13%), and France (10%) (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 5/15). Teixeira, who was in Washington, D.C., to participate in a World Bank meeting, said that "until now, some of the [international] organizations were still hesitating to clearly talk to governments to say that it is possible and feasible" to expand access to treatment. However, based on the "strong" results of the Brazilian experience, Teixeira added, "We are closing this chapter. We are finished with this discussion, and this will be very important" (kaisernetwork.org, 6/20).
A video of the complete interview is available online.
More information on HIV/AIDS in Brazil is available online as part of kaisernetwork.org's Issue Spotlight on HIV/AIDS.