HIV treatment out of reach where needed most; policy brief examines reasons, impact

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MSMGF Access issues

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Unabated  HIV, hepatitis and TB epidemics, overlapping with rising rates of cancers, heart disease, and other chronic noncommunicable illnesses, along with the costs of lifelong treatments are seeing middle-income countries struggling to meet their population’s health needs, the recently released brief Access Challenges for HIV Treatment begins. Add failures in procurement and distribution systems, as well as marginalization of those populations hardest hit by HIV, TB and Hepatitis, and you have a series of obstacles keeping lifesaving interventions from those who need them most in many of the 108 countries classified as lower and middle-income.

The brief is the product of a collaboration with the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+), the Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP), the International Network of People Who Use Drugs (INPUD), the Global Forum on MSM and HIV (MSMGF), and the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC). HIV epidemics in middle income countries, it notes, are often concentrated in populations that face institutional discrimination within those countries,  with high prevalence of HIV among people who inject drugs in East and Southeast Asia, and among sex workers, transgender individuals, and men who have sex with men, globally, The brief looks at pricing and patents, investments in science and technology, and human rights issues, and gives specific examples of how these work together to create structural barriers to health.

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