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Brazil Reduced 75% Of Infectors

Posted December. 01, 2002 22:55,   


On the first, day of world AIDS, Brazil delivers ‘news of victory’.

In Brazil, cases of AIDS have been reducing since it reached the highest in 1998. The hospitalized cases of HIV are 75% since 1997, and number of death due to AIDS has reduced as much 50%. Brazil is saving 422 million dollars per annum due to reduction of AIDS patients.

Brazil that has a population of 176 million was warned that national finance would be over due to AIDS, in the early 1990s’. What is the secret of victory?

According to report of Ford foundation, which is private public corporation, catalysts that helped in awakening seriousness regarding AIDS in Brazil was civil campaign. They considered AIDS, which appeared during the time of change from military politics to civil politics in 1980s’, not as medical but as basic human rights matter that threatens democracy, which had been newly born.

They struggled against social discrimination of AIDS patients. The representative of civil campaign is Herbertu De Sousa. He was infected by HIV while blood transfusion when he was hemophiliac and confessed to people that he was an AIDS patient in 1986, declaring open struggle against AIDS. He organized ABIA, which is national civil organization fighting AIDS, and it grew up as the biggest civil organization which has 20 staff and yearly budget of 500 thousand dollars.

Before this, GAPA, which was formed by homosexuals in Sang Paulo in 1985 pressurized government, to pass the reform bill for public medical system in 1986.

World bank gave loan such as 160 million dollars in 1994, 165 million dollars in 1998 and government granted subsidy of 240 million dollars.

Another crucial issue was the victory against big medicine manufacturing companies. When treatment medicine, which can reinforce immunity of AIDS and weaken the disease in 1996, was invented, the then President Pernandu Enrike Kardosu declared, “ This medicine will be used for basic treatment for AIDS” and instructed scientist to develop this medicine.

It meant not to admit patent of medicine manufacturing companies, saying, “ The approach on the medicine is one of basic human rights.”

After all, big medicine manufacturing companies such as Merck, highly discounted prices of medicine and supplied, therefore, dispute on patent right was solved out and now, Brazil is being supplied the medicine at 1/5th of U.S retail price. Especially, WTO decided that nation can interfere patent rights in case of medicine for HIV and Brazil showed a significant example in world AIDS struggle.

Eun-Taek Hong euntack@donga.com