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MELBOURNE/NEW YORKHigh prices continue to represent a major barrier to affordable access of both new HIV medicines and viral load testing—which is the best way to monitor whether treatment is working—according to two reports released today by international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). 

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Boston/New York, March 6, 2014—Two new studies released today by Epicentre,the research arm of the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) at CROI, the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, point to reductions in new HIV infections in areas where HIV treatment has been greatly expanded. The studies are some of the first to look at large-scale antiretroviral therapy (ART) rollout in real-world high-HIV-burden settings in sub-Saharan Africa, and its possible impact on reducing new infections.

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Yangon/New York, March 1, 2014 -- On February 27, Médecins Sans Frontières Holland (MSF) received a written order from the Union Government of Myanmar to cease all operations in the country, which led to a full closure of all MSF Holland clinics on February 28. This act left patients confused and desperately concerned across the whole country.

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AMSTERDAM/NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 28, 2014 – Médecins Sans Frontières Holland (MSF) has been ordered by the Union Government of Myanmar to cease all activities in the country. MSF is deeply shocked by this unilateral decision and extremely concerned about the fate of tens of thousands of patients currently under MSF's care across the country.

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JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN, JANUARY 31, 2014 – Insecurity in South Sudan's Unity State has forced thousands of people to flee into the bush, including patients and more than two hundred South Sudanese staff members from a hospital run by the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the group said today.

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MSF is calling for increased scale-up of "viral load" HIV treatment monitoring in order to help improve people’s HIV treatment outcomes.

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In several countries where MSF works—such DRC, Guinea, Central African Republic, Nigeria, South Sudan and Myanmar—timely treatment remains out of reach for the majority of people who need it.

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As host to both AIDS conference and TPP trade talks this month, Malaysia reportedly vows to reject a TPP trade agreement that harms access to medicines; other countries should follow suit, and Malaysia should be held to its pledge.

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The price of first- and second-line ARVs to treat HIV are falling because of increased competition among generic producers, but newer ARVs continue to be priced astronomically high.

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New WHO recommendations include earlier antiretroviral therapy for people living with HIV, improved protocols to prevent HIV from being transmitted from mother to child, and regular and more effective monitoring of the amount of virus in people’s blood to ensure treatment is working.

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