Medics worldwide: news and opportunities from the IFMSA
- By: Emily Spry
The World Health Organization's “3 by 5 initiative” aims to treat 3 million people living with HIV in developing countries with antiretroviral therapy by the end of 2005. The strategy was a hot topic when WHO's 192 member states met at the recent World Health Assembly. The flagship initiative of Lee Jong-Wook, who became director general of the organisation last year, has been welcomed by many as a bold first step to challenge the inequity in access to antiretroviral drugs. At the same time, many questions are being asked about the challenges ahead. Could the therapeutic focus weaken prevention efforts? Will developing world health systems be strong enough to meet the demands of the scaling-up of treatment? Who will ensure that access is equitable within countries (see www.who.int)?