Recently the world celebrated that more than 15 million people have, finally, access to antiretroviral treatment. In addition, new goals have been set for ending the hiv epidemic by the year 2030. However, UNAIDS reminded countries that it is important that new trade agreements, to provide medicines to its citizens, are clear and do not hamper access to antiretrovirals, since otherwise it would be a step back in this struggle.
“During the negotiation of new trade agreements, the flexibility mechanisms established in the TRIPS Agreement and the Doha Declaration must be respected to protect public health and to provide access to medicines for all”, said Executive Director of ONUSIDA Michel Sidibé.
The world is at a crucial stage against hiv. It is time to decide and to realize if we can put an end to the epidemic as a threat to public health by 2030. Governments should avoid everything that might cause an obstacle to this.
Currently, several trade agreements are under negotiation. It is feared that these agreements might include the so-called “TRIPS plus” measures, as well as the extension of patentability criteria and duration of patents.
Another reality is the competition from generic drugs in the pharmaceutical industry, as well as the use of flexibility mechanisms in terms of intellectual property, a situation that has contributed to that prices of medicines are much more affordable and have facilitated an unprecedented upsurge of hiv treatment programs.
According to statements by the Executive Director of UNAIDS “(…) It is essential to diagnose millions of people with hiv within the next few years, and provide them with access to treatment. Health is not a negotiable commodity, it is a universal right,” he said.
Hiv treatment should be accessible and offer greater access. In addition, it must be sustainable in economic terms if the global response to AIDS wants to achieve the attainment of the 90-90-90 objectives for 2030; by seeking that 90% of people with hiv are aware of their hiv status, that the 90% who knows it has access to treatment, and that 90% who has it, achieves an effective viral suppression.