Brazilian President Arrives in Mozambique To Launch Antiretroviral Production Initiative
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Thursday arrived in Mozambique to launch a project to construct a factory in the capital of Maputo for the production of HIV/AIDS drugs, AFP/Google.com reports. During his visit to Mozambique, Lula da Silva also will preside over the opening of an office for the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, or Fiocruz, which will manage the project.
Brazil plans to invest $23 million in the factory, which will be built using Brazilian technology and produce drugs using raw materials from India, according to a spokesperson from Brazil's Ministry of External Relations. The factory is expected to begin production of eight generic antiretroviral drugs by the end of 2009. In addition, Farmanguinhos -- a Fiocruz laboratory connected with Brazil's Ministry of Health -- will train Mozambican technicians to help run the project. According to AFP/Google.com, Brazilian authorities intend for the factory to supply antiretrovirals across Africa.
According to government statistics, the HIV prevalence among people ages 16 to 49 in Mozambique is more than 16%. In Brazil, which has enacted aggressive HIV/AIDS prevention programs, about 0.61% of people in the same age group are HIV-positive, AFP/Google.com reports. In addition, about one-third of HIV-positive people in need of treatment in Brazil receive access to no-cost drugs (AFP/Google.com, 10/16).