Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright Praises Romanian HIV/AIDS Programs
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on Wednesday at an international symposium in Bucharest, Romania, lauded Romania's efforts to combat HIV/AIDS, saying that HIV-positive people in the country receive medical treatment that is "in line with international standards," Rompres reports. At the symposium, titled "Public-Private Partnership for Increasing Access to HIV/AIDS Treatment," Albright said she had observed health professionals committed to fighting the disease at the Dr. Matei Bals Institute of Infectious Diseases in Bucharest and she was heartened by the country's response to the epidemic (Rompres, 1/28). "For about seven years, Romania is trying to fight AIDS in many ways, it is a success story," Albright said, adding, "I could even say that pediatric AIDS is not a problem anymore in Romania. From this point of view, this country is an example" (Agence France-Presse, 1/28). The symposium was sponsored by the Romanian government and the pharmaceutical company Merck. Merck President Per Wold-Olsen said that public-private partnerships are important for fighting HIV/AIDS in countries such as Romania and praised the Romanian government's efforts to support such partnerships. Wold-Olson said that while many Central and Eastern European countries are in a state of denial over the HIV/AIDS epidemic, Romania is making progress in fighting the disease. U.S. Ambassador to Romania Michael Guest said that Merck and other large pharmaceutical companies -- including Abbott Laboratories, Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline -- are working with the Romanian government to provide low-cost antiretroviral drugs to the country's HIV-positive residents (Rompres, 1/28).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.