Juan-Carlos Tomasi
Guayaquil (Ecuador) : More than half of Ecuador's inhabitants cannot obtain proper medical care -a problem made worse by the spread of HIV/AIDS in the country.
Since January 2004, MSF launched a project to improve care for people with HIV/AIDS in Guayas province. In Guayaquil, the largest city of the country, each month, the MSF team seeks to treat 10 new adult patients with life-extending antiretroviral (ARV) medicines, as well as provide treatment to all HIV-positive pregnant women in the area to prevent mother-to-child transmission of the virus. At present, MSF staff are caring for more than 330 patients of which more than 90 are receiving ARVs. MSF is working proactively at the national level on policy issues related to access to medicines and treatment, urging the government to use less expensive generic medicines at a time when Ecuador buys brand-name ARVs at a much higher cost. In addition, people living with HIV in Ecuador suffer from discrimination at very extended levels.