Washington Post Examines Brazilian-U.S. Differences on HIV/AIDS Prevention, Treatment Policies
The Washington Post on Thursday examined the "ideological disagreement" between the Brazilian and U.S. governments over HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment policies. The U.S. government has "officially adopted" abstinence messages as the "basis" for prevention programs, while Brazil emphasizes condom distribution, especially among commercial sex workers, for its prevention programs, the Post reports (Reel, Washington Post, 3/2). Brazilian officials in April 2005 wrote to USAID to say the country would refuse the remaining $40 million of a $48 million HIV/AIDS grant -- which began in 2003 and was scheduled to run through 2008 -- because of a Bush administration requirement that HIV/AIDS organizations seeking funding to provide services in other countries must pledge to oppose commercial sex work (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 5/2/05). USAID officially declared Brazil ineligible for renewal of the grant last month. Although the loss of USAID funding has financially strained Brazil's HIV/AIDS programs, Brazilian health officials said it has not devastated their programs, according to the Post. The government planned to distribute 25 million condoms during the annual Carnival festival, which ended on Tuesday, and later this year Brazil plans to open the world's first state-owned condom factory in the state of Acre. According to the Post, the U.S. and Brazil also differ on whether countries should break patents on antiretroviral drugs and produce generic versions at lower costs (Washington Post, 3/2). Under the World Trade Organization's intellectual property agreement, governments can approve the domestic production of generic versions of patented drugs during emergency public health situations if they fail to reach an agreement with the patent holder (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/17). The Brazilian government spends about $400 million annually -- about two-thirds of its HIV/AIDS-related budget -- to provide no-cost access to antiretroviral drugs to all HIV-positive residents who need them (Washington Post, 3/2).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.