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International News

Navigating Challenges, Brazil Steps Up AIDS Response

July 29, 2011

Brazil, a longtime worldwide model for fighting HIV/AIDS, continues to ramp up its domestic and international disease-fighting efforts.

Brazil has maintained stabilized HIV infection and mortality rates since 2003 and 1998, respectively, Ministry of Health data show. In 2010, 630,000 Brazilians were estimated to be living with HIV. Some 210,000 Brazilians with HIV receive free, government-supplied antiretroviral treatment.

Brazil's public health system has taken numerous measures to combat HIV/AIDS, including:

  • Pledging $2 from every international airline ticket sold to support the UNITAID treatment-access campaign;
  • Focusing education campaigns on sexual violence in the country, as well as condom use promotion among women and youth;
  • Founding a locally owned condom factory in 2008 that utilizes latex from native rubber trees; and
  • Seeking approval from the World Trade Organization (WTO) to take advantage of agreement provisions allowing governments to license the production or acquisition of generic drugs when public health concerns are paramount.

Although WTO sided with Brazil in the early 2000s, the European Union and the United States have continued to fight for more stringent intellectual property rights laws, a divisive issue argued during the recent UN High Level Meeting on AIDS in New York.

Minister of Health Alexandre Padilha asserts the country respects intellectual property laws, but insists these "have to be compliant to help public health priority."

Oxfam America Senior Policy Advisor Rohit Malpani agrees with Padilha. "Brazil must continue to use flexibilities to reduce the costs of these medicines even as the country continues to evolve into a wealthier, emerging market country," said Malpani.

Back to other news for July 2011

Adapted from:
Inter Press Service
07.25.2011; Elizabeth Whitman

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
Brazil Stepping Up Efforts to Fight HIV/AIDS
More on Brazil & HIV/AIDS

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