Health Delegates Urge Better Global Access to Anti-AIDS Treatment

Published May 20th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Health delegates from 191 states passed a resolution in Geneva Saturday calling for greater global access to treatments for HIV-related illnesses and for drugs to be made available and affordable. 

The resolution also called on the World Health Organization (WHO) to "further support the implementation of drug price monitoring system in member states," a WHO press statement said. 

And it asked the organization to develop a global health-sector strategy as part of the United Nations overall strategic plan for fighting HIV/AIDS between 2001-2005. 

The resolution came on the closing day of the weeklong annual session of the World Health Assembly, the WHO's highest governing body.  

In her closing remarks, WHO director-general Gro Harlem Brundtland said: "Through the enhancing of care and strengthening its linkages to prevention, we are about to give new directions and a new energy to an expanded, revitalized response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic." 

Nearly 34 million people worldwide are currently living with HIV/AIDS and 95 percent of them are in developing countries, WHO said. 

Five pharmaceutical companies -- Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Glaxo Wellcome, Merck and Co and F.Hoffmann La Roche -- have announced they are holding talks with UN agencies on making treatments more accessible in poor countries. 

But 14 southern African countries said Friday here that lowering prices of anti-AIDS treatments was not enough to make them accessible for African sufferers -- GENEVA (AFP) 


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