AMERICA/ARGENTINA - There is no adequate treatment for HIV-positive children

Monday, 10 March 2014

Buenos Aires (Agenzia Fides) - In Argentina, since December 2010 there have been about 8000 cases of children infected by AIDS, and every year 100 are added. However, medicines and therapies, monopolized by international laboratories, are not adequate. Half of the cases involve children under 14 and 90% contracted the virus through perinatal transmission. According to the Ministry of National Health, there are about 110 000 people living with HIV in the Country, 30% of whom are not aware of the illness, with the risk of increasing the transmission, which currently hovers between 100 cases per year. Since 1995 the so-called "antiretroviral therapy" has been available, which has allowed to improve the living conditions of people living with HIV. In Argentina, the treatment has been available since 1996 and is free of charge.
Garrahan Pediatric Hospital treats 400 children with HIV. However, since 2000 the Country has been forced to use multinational drugs, which have very high costs and are not adeguate for children that use the same drugs given to adults combined to prevent resistance to the virus. Currently more than 20 drugs are available to treat the virus in adults. However, nothing similar has yet been done to help children simply because pharmaceutical companies have no interest in investing in a small part of the population compared to the many infected people in the world. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 10/03/2014)