We encourage you to republish this article online and in print, it’s free under our creative commons attribution license, but please follow some simple guidelines:
  1. You have to credit our authors.
  2. You have to credit SciDev.Net — where possible include our logo with a link back to the original article.
  3. You can simply run the first few lines of the article and then add: “Read the full article on SciDev.Net” containing a link back to the original article.
  4. If you want to also take images published in this story you will need to confirm with the original source if you're licensed to use them.
  5. The easiest way to get the article on your site is to embed the code below.
For more information view our media page and republishing guidelines.

The full article is available here as HTML.

Press Ctrl-C to copy

[RIO DE JANEIRO] Latin America and Caribbean nations have agreed to act together to increase the availability of HIV/AIDS drugs in the region.

They will jointly negotiate cheaper imports of HIV/AIDS drugs, and will share information and costs to produce their own.

The 19 countries made the agreement last week at a three-day meeting on HIV/AIDS prevention in Brasilia, Brazil.

It was followed by the announcement yesterday (18 January) that Argentina and Brazil will produce HIV/AIDS drugs together at a US$10 million factory they are building this year.

Pedro Chequer, director of Brazil's national HIV/AIDS programme, told delegates in Brasilia that it was important for nations to work together to improve local capacity for drug production, because temporary price reductions are unsustainable in medium and long-term.

The meeting's final report, to be presented at the UN general assembly in May, will recommend creating ways to measure access to AIDS prevention, assistance and treatment in the region.

It will also call on the international community to help overcome political and economic barriers in negotiations over the costs of HIV/AIDS drugs.

Last year, Brazil obtained lower prices for several foreign companies' HIV/AIDS drugs by threatening to break patents on them and produce them in Brazil.

"It is fundamental for the countries to unite and to count on international agencies for support," said Chequer.