Volume 4 Number 6 July 2003

Perhaps it is inevitable, with the number of governments involved in the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, with the amounts of money involved, and the nature of the work it has been set up to finance, that there should be high emotions and low politics surrounding the fund, as we report this issue.

The good news is that many nations – and a few organisations – have made substantial contributions to the fund, and as world leaders gathered for the G8 summit in June some of those donations were increased; and there will be a conference in Paris in July to find ways to raise more money. To keep track of who’s doing what, this month we publish a full list of donors.

The bad news is that, quite simply, the Global Fund has far too little money.

HIV Treatment Bulletin believes that it is not only important for a publication such as this to report on the latest scientific developments, but also to pursue matters relating to access to treatments. The next big political issue in this context will come in the run up to the World Trade Organisation meeting in September which will decide how to balance the conflicting interests of multinational pharmaceutical companies that are keen to hold on to their patents, and generic producers that are able to provide more medicine for less money. But access to treatments is not only about money and politics: we also report on new research from South Africa that shows that adherence is not a barrier to successful therapy in a resource-poor setting.

For those with access to treatment, long term cardiovascular risk is clearly a real concern. The preliminary results from D:A:D – the largest study to look prospectively at increased risk – repay close assessment, and are also reported in this issue.

Included with this mailing of HTB is a small pocket-sized booklet to keep a record of an individual treatment history. We hope that this will not only be used by newly diagnosed people to help understand their own health, but also by those who have been HIV-positive for many years – and that clinicians will find this of benefit for their patients.

As with all i-Base material, these booklets are available free, including in bulk to clinics – please use the separate enclosed fax-back form to order them, or the back page of HTB if ordering other publications at the same time.

The next issue of HTB will be a double issue for August/September and be distributed mid-August for holiday reading… This will enable us to include reports from the 5th Lipodystrophy Workshop and 2nd IAS Conference – both in Paris in July – and the 12th Resistance Workshop in Mexico.

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