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By Nancy Harris
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Extra resources for AIDS in Developing Countries
S. taxpayer expense. Both drugs have already generated huge profits for drug companies. Second, the drug companies routinely exaggerate the costs of developing new drugs. There is a moral issue: should people with HIV/AIDS in poor countries be denied available treatments so that companies can earn higher profits? Third, since compulsory licensing will increase company sales (as it lowers prices), this policy tool may not harm industry earnings at all, or it may hurt earnings less than initially appears to be the case.
Finally, it should be reiterated that although access to essential medicines is of critical importance, much more must also be done to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and to improve treatment of those infected. An essential step in combating the transmission of this disease is to cancel the foreign debts of the poorest countries, since debt servicing siphons off funds from investment in public health. World Bank and IMF structural adjustment programs that impose policies—such as requiring copayments from indigent patients—also make it more difficult for those with HIV/AIDS to gain access to medical care.
Public opinion about the disease in the 1980s. ” Almost everyone with HIV or AIDS who appears on Chinese television has his or her face and voice obscured electronically. Those who appear in newspaper photographs usually have a thick black stripe covering their eyes. Many Chinese officials and journalists say this is done to protect people with HIV from further discrimination. “Ideally, people with HIV would be able to stand up and face the camera without fear,” said Fu Yan, a senior nurse at the AIDS clinic at Beijing’s Youan Hospital.