New research has proved conclusively that treatment of HIV can reduce the transmission of the disease from one person to another by 96 percent. In other words, HIV treatment is also HIV prevention. The UN Summit on HIV/AIDS starts on June 8 and officials will decide on a blueprint for the next decade of the global response to the epidemic. Will global leaders act now to save millions of lives and prevent millions of new infections?
In Kenya, more than 22,000 children were infected with HIV in 2009. The district of Homa Bay, in rural western Kenya, has the country’s highest HIV prevalence rate. MSF is working to stop the spread of the disease in Homa Bay with its prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) program.
Generic versions of antiretrovirals, or ARVs, that cost a fraction of the price of brand medicines make it possible for MSF to treat 160,000 people living with HIV around the world. Eighty percent of the ARVs we use come from India, and millions of others in developing countries depend on India-made generics as well. But the European Commission has begun directing its trade policies in a way that could stamp out the production of lifesaving generics in India. MSF has launched a global public campaign to tell Europe to back off, and to honor its commitments to global health.
Patients in developing countries who will soon need new treatment regimens for HIV/AIDS will be even more unlikely to receive them, now that international donors are walking away from their funding promises.
The HIV-TB dual epidemic in Swaziland: one in four adults in the country has HIV, the highest prevalence in the world; and with compromised immune systems, people living with HIV are much more susceptible to other deadly diseases, including TB and its drug-resistant forms. MSF is using innovative ways to treat this deadly dual epidemic in a challenging environment.
In this edition, reports on how an MSF hospital in Haiti is responding to the overwhelming need for maternal health care in country's capital, Port-au-Prince, and the ways MSF is confronting the AIDS pandemic in Cambodia. Plus, a story on MSF's use of lifesaving ready-to-use foods to treat malnourished children in the West African country of Niger.
In this month's edition, you'll hear how the health-care worker crisis in southern Africa is undermining efforts to provide HIV/AIDS treatment and why a man living with AIDS in Thailand needs access to an AIDS medicine produced by an American pharmaceutical company. In our top story, an update on the situation in eastern Chad, where deadly attacks on villages have forced more than 150,000 people to flee their homes.