WHO Plan to Treat Three Million HIV-Positive People in Developing Countries by 2005 "Not Convincing," Opinion Piece Says
June 1, 2004
The World Health Organization's 3 by 5 Initiative, which plans to treat three million HIV-positive people in developing countries by the end of 2005, is "not convincing" on a number of levels, Amir Attaran, an associate professor of population health at the University of Ottawa in Canada, and Peter Hale of Georges Pompidou European Hospital in Paris, write in an International Herald Tribune opinion piece (Attaran/Hale, International Herald Tribune, 5/29). The 192 member nations of the WHO General Assembly last month unanimously approved a draft resolution to increase access to HIV/AIDS treatment in low-income countries and supply them with low-cost, high-quality antiretroviral drugs (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 5/24). Attaran and Hale say that "the fact that WHO is only just now ... proposing a $5 billion plan to treat those with the AIDS virus as its flagship initiative suggests that the agency has not always been realistic in its approach to AIDS." WHO's current "business plan" for treating HIV-positive people is "supposed to reverse that," but it is "not convincing on three levels," according to Attaran and Hale.
The current plan "is an embarrassment," and the 46 million people living with HIV/AIDS "deserve better than this," the authors say. Attaran and Hale conclude, "We are the first to argue that a strong WHO is needed to bring unity, synergy and cohesion to this effort" (Attaran/Hale, International Herald Tribune, 5/29).
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.