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UNAIDS’ Sidibe Calls For Increased Access To HIV Drugs At IAS Conference Opening

UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe on Sunday at the opening of the 6th International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Rome “called … for an increase in access to drugs that help treat or prevent the spread of the disease, saying it is ‘morally wrong’ to keep millions of people off lifesaving medication,” the Associated Press/Boston Globe reports (7/18).

Sidibe “said the gap in access to HIV treatment should be closed both within and between countries” and “called for better delivery on the ground, a reduction in the number of years it now takes to turn scientific discoveries into actual progress for the poor, and increased cooperation among states, pharmaceutical companies and international organizations,” the Associated Press writes.

“Sidibe also said any trade agreement that would limit access to medication, especially generic ones, should be opposed,” the news agency states. IAS President and Conference Chair Elly Katabira shared that concern, saying, “I hope our voice will be heard in asking that access to all drugs, including generic drugs, will not be diminished by new laws or regulations anywhere in the world,” according to the AP (7/17).

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