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:
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.