To Achieve 'AIDS-Free Generation,' Apply Scientific Advancements In HIV Treatment In The Field
In this post in GlobalPost’s “Global Pulse” blog, Katherine Record, a senior fellow at Harvard Law School’s Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation, explains “[w]hy the wall between the scientific advancements in AIDS treatment and the treatment itself needs to be broken down in order to truly achieve an ‘AIDS-free generation.'” She writes, “The U.S. is pushing its patent laws on trade partners, forcing them to adopt the most robust and longest monopoly rights in the world,” adding, “The result is a move away from the World Trade Organization’s safeguards against prohibitive pricing of lifesaving drugs in low-income nations, deferring any hope of an ‘AIDS-free generation.'”
Noting the AIDS 2012 conference will take place in Washington, D.C., in two weeks, Record writes, “The real question for the [International AIDS Society (IAS), the conference sponsor,] this summer is practical rather than academic: can scientific breakthroughs be applied in the field?” She states, “No convention could be better placed to address this issue,” due to its “proximity of the Hill, where lawmakers and the judiciary stand between the science and the epidemic, determining when progress in the lab will become progress in the field.” She discusses several barriers to expanding the use of HIV treatment as prevention, highlights issues surrounding intellectual property laws, and concludes, “We now have the means to save lives and stop the spread of a disease that has gripped the world in fear and devastation for 30 years. IAS, remind President Obama he could be the one to take the lead” (7/11).