Fewer Than 6% of HIV-Positive People in Asia-Pacific Region Who Need Antiretroviral Drugs Receiving Them, WHO Report Says
Fewer than 6% of the 170,000 HIV-positive people in the Asia-Pacific region who need antiretroviral drugs are receiving them, according to a World Health Organization report distributed on Wednesday at WHO's annual Western Pacific Region meeting in Shanghai, China, the AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (Bodeen, AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 9/15). WHO aims to treat three million HIV-positive people with antiretroviral drugs by 2005 through its 3 by 5 Initiative (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 9/10). WHO officials said progress on the initiative is "getting a boost from a major drop in the price of medication to as little as $140 a year per patient for triple-drug treatments," according to the AP/Journal-Constitution. However, funding for the initiative "remains in question" and "[t]reatment will not be able to keep pace unless new infection rates are cut sharply," the report said, according to the AP/Journal-Constitution. The report also said that HIV/AIDS prevention will remain a key aspect of the initiative. There are about 7.4 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the region, and about 500,000 people are believed to have died from AIDS-related causes last year (AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 9/15).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.