January #131 : Anywhere but Here - by Sara Marcus

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Table of Contents

Labors of Love

The Kids Aren't Alright

With Honors

A Little Something on the Side

Even Combos Get the Blues

The Load Not Taken

HIV Bytes

Don't Get Fresh With Me

Discounted Labels

Thai-ing the Knot

Don't Leave Work Without It

Teen Angel

While You Weren't Sleeping

High Definition

Isn't That Special?

Prison Break

Anywhere but Here

Death and the Maidens

Diplomatic Immunity

Very Adult Education

On the Download

Face for the Cure

Tales From the Crib

Big Med on Campus

Editor's Letter-January 2007

Mailbox-January 2007

Catch of the Month-January 2007

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

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January 2007

Anywhere but Here

by Sara Marcus

The global community drives down drug costs—without America’s help

An estimated five million HIV positive people worldwide can’t afford meds. So last September, 44 countries joined the United Nations’ new UNITAID effort, which expands med access for those with HIV, tuberculosis and malaria. UNITAID will pool the nations’ buying power to negotiate lower drug costs, hoping to buy treatment for 200,000 people with HIV in developing countries in 2007. It will reduce the tab for second-line HIV drugs for those resistant to first-line regimens—which, due to previous humanitarian efforts, cost up to 20 times less than second-line regimens. As surprising as the level of UNITAID’s commitment was the breadth of the member nations—from Congo to Norway. So where was the U.S.?

The Bush administration objected to UNITAID’s financing plan to snag funding by taxing airline tickets bought in the countries. It’s the first such mandatory levy for a global health care cause. The Feds are instead hyping the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which currently treats more than 500,000 people annually for HIV. “Countries need to participate in all efforts to drive down the cost of meds,” says Asia Russell, a UNITAID activist. The Clinton Foundation, which has already brokered HIV med price reductions in several nations, will put the ex-prez’s White House clout behind UNITAID. That’s the ticket. 

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