Roll out and deliver
Ten years after Brazil decided to roll out antiretrovirals, experts wonder whether much has been achieved, explains Klaus Morales
In 1996, Brazil decided to offer access to antiretroviral drugs to all its citizens with HIV or AIDS who needed them. More than 4000 delegates throughout Brazil met at a conference this November to celebrate the country's decision and to discuss future challenges.
“Public policies must combine prevention and treatment simultaneously. They're not competitors, and there is no legitimacy in having prevention programmes if solid treatment strategies do not also exist,” Mariângela Simão, the head of Brazil's sexually transmitted disease and AIDS programme, told the Student BMJ.
A report issued by Brazil's health ministry and distributed at the conference said that about 600 000 Brazilians are HIV positive or have AIDS. An article published in the New England Journal of Medicine this year said that the World Bank had predicted in the early 1990s that 1.2 million people in Brazil would be infected with HIV by 2000 (2006;354: 1977-81). This