Lifestyle Health and Wellbeing 22 Jul 2016 Rising anti-HIV drug ...

Rising anti-HIV drug prices a serious public threat: experts

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | TEENA THACKER
Published Jul 22, 2016, 7:28 pm IST
Updated Jul 22, 2016, 7:27 pm IST
The lowest available price for first-line HIV treatment has dropped by 26 per cent since 2014.
As people with HIV live longer‚ Aids is a topic that has drifted from the headlines. (Representational Image)
 As people with HIV live longer‚ Aids is a topic that has drifted from the headlines. (Representational Image)

International experts have warned that future declines in number of AIDS patients and HIV drug prices are under threat, if donors continue to decrease their investment, as it is happening now.

Voicing the same concern, Prince Harry, who caused a stir at the International AIDS conference in Durban cautioned- "We now face a new risk, a risk of complacency," as he came in support of youth voicing his concern over the need to end the stigma that continues among the youth. “As people with HIV live longer‚ Aids is a topic that has drifted from the headlines. We cannot lose a sense of urgency‚” he said during the 21st International Aids Conference in Durban.

 

His charity Sentebale which is in partnership with Prince Seeiso of Lesotho, works to improve the lives of children affected by HIV in Lesotho and Botswana. “We cannot defeat HIV without giving young people in every country the voice they deserve. Without education and empowerment‚ HIV would win. In helping young people to fight HIV‚ not just end this epidemic‚ but change the direction of history for an entire generation‚” he said.

According to the Michel Sidibe, Director, UNAIDS said that this was the first time he was seeing decline in the financing in donor countries. “I am scared as we have 1.9 million new infections and we are losing our investment. We need to call on donors. If we stop we will definitely regret and that’s not we want. If we do not continue with global solidarity, we will see millions of people losing resistance”.

 

Experts also stressed on the increasing drug prices. According to the experts, the lowest available price for first-line HIV treatment has dropped by 26% since 2014, but the lowest price for third-line that contains newer HIV drugs on patent, is almost 20 times the price of the cheapest first-line regimen.

To meet the ambitious target and goal for ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030, the leaders stressed on the need of engaging and supporting religious leaders and faith based organisations too other than pumping money to support the programme. As the International AIDS conference concluded in Durban on Friday, decision makers, civil society and development partners discussed the opportunities to implement the political declaration of 2016 to end AIDS by 2030, and outlined a way to accelerate the response.

 

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