After 13 years in Malawi, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has shown that HIV patients can be successfully managed in a rural setting with limited staff by the decentralization of care and shifting of tasks to staff with less medical training. Today MSF and the ministry of health treats 35,000 patients in Chiradzulu district.
The fight against HIV/AIDS has been hailed as one of the most successful public health projects in human history, but Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) medical teams that support HIV treatment for more than 280,000 people in 21 countries, see the revolution as unfulfilled for millions of people excluded from treatment. The See What We See films reveal what MSF medical staff witness and also highlight proven strategies for community-based care that puts more people on treatment earlier and helps them adhere to treatment in the long-term. Go to See.MSF.org to learn more.
Residents of a village in Central African Republic have no access to medical care due to recent violence. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has arrived there to provide medical care but is worried about levels of malaria, a potential nutrition crisis, and the lack of antiretrovirals for people living with HIV.
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is proving two local health centers in Chiradzulu district, Malawi, with machines that test the blood of HIV patients. The machines will allow health workers to see how effective treatment has been and to make decisions based on those results. Up to now only large regional facilities could provide results like this.
A coup d'état in March in Central African Republic resulted in mass displacement; homes were burned and clinics looted. Some 11,000 HIV patients were cut off from antiretroviral treatment, leaving them at risk of developing resistance to medication, or worse, getting sick and dying. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has resumed medical activities and is trying to get as many people back on treatment as possible.
In Malawi, where Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is now treating 36,000 people living with HIV/AIDS, teams are taking part in an ambitious survey designed to measure the incidence of the disease, seeking to learn if HIV/AIDS is still spreading as rapidly as it was, or if transmission rates have decreased.
On April 1, 2013, a landmark ruling by India's Supreme Court ensured continued access to affordable HIV medication for the millions affected by this disease, including the 220,000 patients that Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) treats with generic HIV/AIDS medication. This access has been under threat for the past seven years by pharmaceutical company Novartis, which challenged a section of India's Patents Act that prevented the practice of "evergreening," or extending the patent of an existing medicine by modifying it slightly. By extending patents, pharmaceutical companies prevent the manufacture of generic drugs. The ruling by India's Supreme Court is a victory for those fighting for access to affordable medicine—at least, for the time being.
MSF joined thousands of protesters at the International AIDS Conference in Washington, DC, calling for governments and pharmaceutical companies to halt policies and practices that hamper access to medicines.