Access to Medicines and the Rhetoric of Responsibility [Excerpt]

Ethics and International Affairs, Volume 16.2 (Fall 2002)

November 25, 2002

Ethics & International Affairs

There is no cure or vaccine for HIV/AIDS. The only life-prolonging treatment available is antiretroviral (ARV) therapy. WHO estimates, however, that less than 5 percent of those who require treatment in developing countries currently enjoy access to these medicines. In Africa fewer than 50,000 people--less than 2 percent of the people in need--currently receive ARV therapy. These facts have elicited strongly divergent reactions, and views about the appropriate response to this crisis have varied widely.


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