World AIDS Day 2003
"MSF really welcomes this (WHO) initiative... Still I think it is very necessary for all of us to put a lot of pressure on local governments so that this treatment will be for free. [...] To really be able to scale up and fight this epidemic ... it is absolutely necessary to adapt the treatment models to the local conditions..."
- MORTEN ROSTRUP, MSF International President on the WHO initiative
THE CHALLENGE OF SIMPLIFYING AND SCALING UP
In the developing world today, 40 million people are HIV positive. More than six million people are in urgent need of antiretroviral (ARV) treatment, 4.1 million of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa. An estimated 6,500 people die of AIDS each day in this region.
MSF Press release:
To reach millions in need, AIDS treatment must be adapted to poor countries
"Our experience convinces us that treatment must be free for patients," said Christine Jamet, head of mission in Kenya. "If there was a fee, many of those who desperately need these lifesaving drugs would not be able to get them."
Over 4.5 million of South Africa's population are HIV positive - the largest number of HIV/AIDS people in one country. In Khayelitsha township, Eric Goemaere, MD, works to bring antiretroviral (ARV) treatment to those who need it and to push the government to do much more.