Volume 8 Number 5 May 2007

This issue of HTB continues our coverage from the 14th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections with reports on breastfeeding, MTCT, paediatrics and genetics.

Treatment access in this issue leads with the recent announcement by the Clinton Foundation of significant price reductions for ARVs that can be used in second-line treatment. This has long been a demand from activists aware of the lack of affordable second-line treatments in resource-poor countries, and with few options to use to avoid the toxicities associated with older nucleosides.

As with all price reductions, this has developed because of competition from generic formulations manufactured in India. Referring to the decisions by both Abbott and Merck to oppose legitimate use of compulsory licencing (in Thailand and Brazil respectively), President Clinton commented that “No company will live or die because of high price premiums for AIDS drugs in middle-income countries, but patients may”.

Another treatment access report highlights the difficulties caused by the higher cost of second-line therapy; in India, second-line treatment is not currently being considered until ARV targets for first-line therapy are met.

On another note, we have distributed the new i-Base Guide to Hepatitis C for people coinfected with HIVa supplement to this issue of HTB.

The publication is aimed at supporting both people who have been living with coinfection for many years – who have benefited from HAART and now have to negotiate treatment approaches to HCV; and for newly diagnosed HIV-positive gay men, for whom a second diagnosis has a difficult impact on their quality of life, and for whom early treatment offers a better chance for clearing the HCV.

As with all publications, this guide is available free by ordering online or faxing back the order form on the back page of HTB.

Links to other websites are current at date of posting but not maintained.