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_U.S. President Bush is Killing People with AIDS by Lack of Leadership

 

[ ACT UP ]

There are 35 million people in the world living with HIV/AIDS. 95% of them lack access to the medicine that could save their lives. The US and other rich nations must rise to the occasion and address the crisis at hand.

The Group of 7 [richest countries in the world] and other wealthy nations must come up with $7 - 10 Billion dollars --- this year and every year -- for the Gloval Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.

The Global Fund is an important new way to bring affordable treatment to people in Africa and other places ravaged by AIDS.

BUSH'S LACK OF VISION:

AIDS activist worked very hard to get the US Senate to agree to give $700 million this year to the Global Fund. It was almost sure to pass. But President Bush forced the Senate to pass a bill containing only $200 million. and only a fraction of the $200 million will go to the Global Fund.

Why did Bush put pressure on the Senate, diminishing their effort to fight AIDS? Because a week later, Bush made his own announcement, wasting no effort to posture himself before the press.

His solution to the global AIDS crisis is a meager amount of money to stem the tide of a disease out of control.

BUSH BLUEPRINT ON AIDS IS A HOUSE OF CARDS:

Bush made his announcement on the morning of the largest Republican Party fundraiser in history. He sid his plan included:

If this is meant to inspire other nations to rise to the occasion, it is certainly a feeble attempt.

WE NEED REAL MONEY AND REAL LEADERSHIP TO FIGHT AIDS:

The US should immediately contribute at least $2.5 Billion to the Global Fund.
That is the only way to start to really invest in the fight against AIDS, and the only way to challenge other rich nations to give more money.

 

BROKEN PROMISES ON AIDS TREATMENT
WHERE IS THE $10 BILLION?

TREATMENT WORKS. It is now proven that anti-HIV treatment can work in "resource-limited" settings (poor countries with limited healthcare).

People with HIV/AIDS in poorer countries who took powerful antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) got healthier. Their adherence to medication was as good as people in wealthier countries. It is not acceptable to delay or deny treatment in poorer or "resource-limited" places by claiming it won't work.

WHERE'S THE $10 BILLION? Wealthy governments such as the United States, Canada, and Japan are "donor countries." They must donate funds to pay for treatment. This also will show real commitment to treatment.

The most powerful countries are called the G8. The G8 and ntional governments have broken promises made over the last two years to donate money to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. The lack of funds is hte main barrier to expanding treatment programs.

THE GLOBAL FUND NEEDS MONEY AND MUST PAY FOR TREATMENT. The Global Fund will not work if donors do not give mney. It will not work if the Fund and its Director do not speak out and demand these funds.

The fund leaders must say that treatment is worth funding and that complete proposals must address treatment needs. They must say that grants must be used to buy quality medicine at the lowest costs. They must tell people that the lowest-cost drugs could be generic or brand-name.

REAL ACCESS PROGRAMS. The "Accelerating Access Initiative" is led by the drug companies. It does not give countries the very best price options. It has many rules and burdens.

We need a new plan for "Equitable Access." The plan should be made by peopl living with HIV/AIDS, their communities and governments. UN agencies (such as WHO and UNICEF) should offer them "technical support" to help make the plans.

"Equity Access" would include:

PUT CARE BEFORE PROFIT: RESPECT THE DOHA DECLARATION. At the 2001 WTO meeting in Doha, countries agreed to protect public health over patent rights ("intellectual property"). The US and European Union (EU) are trying to change this back.

One example is their work to stop a solution that would let countries make drugs and export them to other countries ("produciton for export," paragraph 6 of the Doha Declaration).

The US is also fighting for bilateral (2 country) and regional trade agreements that do not respect this agreement and that fight for harder rules on patents. One example is FTAA (Free Trade Area of the Americas). Al lWTO members must implement the Doha Declaration in good faith. The US must stop fighting for harmful policies in TRAA and other trade contracts.

MAKE TREATMENT AND CARE EASIER. It is clear that ARV treatment works. now we need a plan that can get treatment ot many more people. People with HIV/AIDS, physicians, and researchers from poor or develooping countries can make plans to bring medicine and monitoring (lab tests) to more people.

Making treatments simpler could mean: once-a-day treatment; fewer combinations of drugs; cheaper lab tests; and ways for doctors to observe treatment progress without many costly tests.

ACT UP

 

 

see also: Where is the $10 Billion Dollars for the Global Fund?

 

 



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