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Fair Pricing demo at AIDS Conference
- To: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Subject: Fair Pricing demo at AIDS Conference
- From: "JOHN-HENERY RILEY" <email@example.com>
- Date: Wed, 14 Aug 1996 11:47:08 EST
- Priority: normal
- Return-Receipt-To: "JOHN-HENERY RILEY" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
AIDS ACTIVISTS DENOUNCE AIDS PROFITEERS
AT OPENING OF INTERNATIONAL AIDS CONFERENCE
"Access for All" & "Greed = Death" are Rallying Cries
(Vancouver, July 7) -- Hundreds of AIDS activists from around the
world demonstrated during the opening session of the IX International
AIDS Conference. Members of the activist group ACT UP (the AIDS
Coalition to Unleash Power) unfurled banners during the ceremony
proclaiming "Roche, Merck, and Abbot: Greed = Death", and "Demand
Access for All", threw bundles of "AIDS Profiteer" money into the
air, distributed leaflets to conference attendees, and brought the
ceremony to a halt while they chants, whistles, and sirens. Among
their chants targeting drug companies were "greed kills -access for
Activists expect a "don't worry, be happy" message to be the central
theme of the XIth International AIDS Conference, due to the recent
advent of a new class of anti-HIV drugs called protease inhibitors.
"Some people are doing very well on these new therapies, and we do not
argue with that fact," said ACT UP/Philadelphia member Asia Russell.
"However, these people represent a very small fraction of the 19
million people on this planet who are living with HIV. The prices
being charged for combination protease inhibitor therapy leaves
millions of people with HIV for dead. Public health systems world-wide
will be bankrupted."
Most people with HIV in the world will never be benefit from the
treatment advances being discussed at this meeting."
Most of the conference's attention focused on a new class of drugs
called protease inhibitors that show promise in slowing the progress
of AIDS as a disease. However, many questions remain on the effects of
long-term effects of these drugs, and because their price is so high,
they will only be available to those whose national health programs or
private insurance will cover it.
"Access is now one of the big issues for people living with AIDS
around the world", said Asia Russell of ACT UP/Philadelphia. "It's not
just treatments, but a whole range of matters such as information,
education, advocacy, prevention, international aid, testing, and basic
More than 19 million people are infected with the HIV virus worldwide,
but only a few million have access to AIDS drugs. In many countries,
there are no effective AIDS medications and even the HIV test is too
expansive for most people to afford. even inexpensive drugs to prevent
AIDS-related pneumonia, a leading killer of people with HIV, are out
of reach for most people. In other countries, even the HIV test is too
expensive for many to afford.