Romanian Children Receiving Antiretroviral Drugs, But ‘Much More Needs To Be Done,’ Letter to Editor Says
The HIV/AIDS epidemic has not been defeated in any country, "and least of all in Romania," Richard Jonas, a board member of Aiding Romania's Children, writes in a letter to the editor of the New York Times in response to a Feb. 11 "Times article about Romania's fight against HIV/AIDS (Jonas, New York Times, 2/16). According to the Times, Romania has become a model among countries outside of North America or Western Europe of how governments, pharmaceutical companies and international organizations can work together to improve access to three-drug antiretroviral therapy for HIV-positive people (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 2/11). Although Romania is "ahead of some poor countries" in providing combination antiretroviral therapy to some HIV-positive patients, including children, "that's only a small part of the picture," Jonas says. HIV-positive Romanian children continue to die from AIDS-related diseases, other "essential" medications are "prohibitively expensive or not available" and everything from food to school supplies "is in short supply," according to Jonas. While "[w]e can all rejoice that children are, finally, getting regular supplies of their triple therapies ... much more needs to be done," Jonas concludes (New York Times, 2/16).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.