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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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2 Responses

  1. Sid
    Sid October 5, 2011 at 4:33 pm |

    I might be way off in my recall of HIV/AIDS facts, but I was under the impression that with appropriate dx of HIV/AIDS in mothers, the appropriate application of anti-retrovirals reduces the risk of fetus contracting HIV to like ~1% so it seems the ability to nearly eliminate the virus exists save for culturally-appropriate information diffusion/awareness and implementation/administration of Tx protocols (which is obviously not trivial).

    Also offhand, I thought the clade distributions of the virus present in sub-saharan Africa and India are very different from the ones prevalent in the developed world and that has made funding and development for drugs rather difficult, so I don’t think that patent pools would work for those regions if the patents in the developed world had nominal margins. I think a better might idea might be some UN/WHO-funded initiative which employed first-world national health agencies with a strong research focus (NIH, NHS, etc.) to engage in a collaborative effort, but for all I know this is completely unfeasible.

  2. Jamie
    Jamie October 6, 2011 at 8:53 am |

    Hey Sid -

    The issue with antiretrovirals in Africa is that they only work when they’re taken with food. Many people are able to get them for free – especially pregnant mothers – but you’re SOL if you can’t get enough to eat.

    I’m writing this from rural Kenya, where I’m working, among other things, with HIV patients. I think it’s unfair to imply that most women here don’t want their kids to be negative because they can’t afford to travel to a clinic. Short of mobile clinics, getting tested – let alone treated – is near impossible, not least of all because of lack of roads in huge chunks of the country. Bear in mind as well, mothers who spend the money to get to clinics are also mothers who leave other children unattended, and don’t pay school fees for those ones either.

    Aids in Africa – or rather Kenya, since I don’t have experience in other countries, although I imagine its similar – does not exist without poverty. Poverty does not exist without corruption and neglect of huge parts of the population. All the drugs in the world won’t fix the problem until there is social structures in place to fix the larger problems involved.

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