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Africa Is Not The Only Continent Struggling Against AIDS

Africa has been the nation of high discussion during the G8 Summit. WHO has started its campaign “Treat 3 Million by 2005”. WHO started its campaign “3 by 5” antiretroviral campaign prior to the G8 Summit in order to mount increased pressure on rich countries to provide more funds and importance to AIDS treatment in Africa.//

But due to high profile of Africa’s dire problems overshadow some of the important revelations of the 3 by 5 progress report and threatens to make the campaign against AIDS synonymous with the mass of other Africa focused anti-poverty efforts. The reports of WHO/UNAIDS on the need of antiretroviral treatment required worldwide is very much dramatic in which it reports. India is the country with the highest number of HIV infected patients who need treatment, with an estimated 735, 000 patients receiving no drugs, this statistics is higher than the amount of drug required in Africa.

The problem of providing antiretroviral treatment is difficult in India because the AIDS policy in India did not support the provision of antiretroviral drugs through the public health care system until 2003, as the Government prior to 2003 had an National AIDS program which focused on AIDS prevention. Even now, drugs are available in government run hospitals in only 6 of India’s 28 states. The scale of the unmet need has an ironic twist. While India’s AIDS population waits patiently for access to treatment, the country’s booming generic drug industry, buoyed by the absence of patent protection before March this year, supplying medication to half the people on antiretroviral therapy in the entire developing world. In one view, the 3 by 5 target has served its purpose. Numbers receiving treatment are on the rise and progress is accelerating. This trend will undoubtedly continue long after the 2005 deadline has receded into history. The treat now comes not from lack of momentum, but from an imbalanced global strategy. “Africa is not the only cont inent struggling against AIDS”. br>


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