Report Claims Profits Are Being Put Before People With HIV

PRESS RELEASE 1st December 2014

APPG: Millions With HIV Are Being “Denied” Treatment

According to a report launched today by a cross-party group of parliamentarians on HIV and AIDS, millions of people living with the condition are still not accessing life-saving treatment in developing countries.

The report, “Access Denied”, highlights that millions of people living with HIV are still not able to access life-saving treatment due to:

  • High prices and low access to HIV drugs
  • Poor access and standards of long-term care
  • Cuts in international funding by governments

The report recommends four vital changes that the UK government need to do help reverse this situation:

1. The UK government to ensure R&D works for people as well as profits so that paediatric medicines are as effective as adult treatment.
2. The UK government, the pharmaceutical industry and multilateral organisations to work together to make second and third line ARV drugs available and affordable to all, including marginalised populations and people living in MICs.
3. The Global Fund to prioritise viral load testing to become the gold standard of treatment for everyone.
4. The UK government to ensure that health and drug distribution networks are strengthened before withdrawing aid (regardless of a country’s Gross National Income (GNI) status) to enable the long-term sustainability of any aid-assisted development.

Chair of the APPG on HIV and AIDS Pamela Nash MP said:
“Access Denied” highlights that in a world where treatment exists that means a person with HIV can live a long and healthy life, millions are still dying as they cannot access this treatment. It's a modern tragedy of epic proportions.”

"This is a stark warning to governments, including the UK, that if we fail to address the barriers to access we will ultimately lose the battle to control and end the epidemic.”

“Children in particular continue to be left behind with 76% of kids living with HIV unable to access treatment because they do not represent a lucrative sales market for the pharmaceutical industry - people need to come before profits.”

“With upwards of 55 million people expected to need HIV treatment by 2030 we cannot afford to be complacent. High drug prices, lack of access to viral load testing, weak and ineffective health and drug distribution systems, punitive legislation and lack of R&D into paediatric drugs are barriers that must be addressed.

“The UK has a key role to play in leading the global investment in the battle against HIV, and ensuring that we do not take our foot off the pedal when we have the opportunity to win the war and create an AIDS-free generation.”

The report will be launched in Parliament on Monday 1st December World AIDS Day 15:00-17:30

For more information contact: Susie Pelly

Notes to the editor:
Please see executive summary attached for more details.