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Brazil AIDS Success: Washington Post Report

September 22, 2000

A recent Washington Post article describes the remarkable success of Brazil's AIDS programs, both prevention and treatment:

"Infection rates have returned to 1995 levels. Over the past five years, the number of AIDS-related deaths has plummeted in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, the regions most deeply affected. In Rio de Janeiro, deaths fell by 40 percent; in Sao Paulo they dropped by 53.6 percent.

"At the heart of Brazil's success is its drug-distribution program. . . . Today, government labs churn out five generic AIDS medications. Brazil will spend $400 million this year to distribute medicines to 81,000 AIDS patients. . . .

"It's a well-organized, well-formulated program that works because the government has managed to integrate the whole society -- especially the NGOs," said Jorge Werthein, the Brazil representative for UNAIDS, the joint United Nations program on AIDS.

"AIDS patients in Brazil are using brand-name, U.S.-made HIV-AIDS drugs as well as locally produced generics. Brazil argues that a loophole in the World Trade Organization rules gives it permission to manufacture the generic medications in a 'national emergency.' Although pharmaceutical companies have challenged this approach as a possible violation of world trade regulations, a spokesman for the leading industry group in the United States lauded the Brazilian program."


  1. Brazil Becomes Model in Fight Against AIDS," by Stephen Buckley, Washington Post, Sunday September 17 2000, page A22,

ISSN # 1052-4207

Copyright 2000 by John S. James. Permission granted for noncommercial reproduction, provided that our address and phone number are included if more than short quotations are used.

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