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Antiretroviral Drugs

Volume 401: debated on Tuesday 18 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment her Department has made of giving antiretroviral drugs to key workers in developing countries; and if she will make a statement. [103109]

The fight against the epidemic has to incorporate effective public health responses that engage in education, prevention, treatment, care, support, impact mitigation and related development concurrently. For any of these programmes to be successfully implemented, broad multi-sectoral approaches are crucial.We are supporting national governments, within the context of their national HIV/AIDS plans, to consider the priorities and practicalities of implementing and scaling-up treatment for HIV/AIDS. The choices facing poor countries, particularly around equity of access to treatment are difficult. In our view an open debate in countries, involving all sectors of society, will be critical in determining those priorities and responses. It is for each country to determine their own priorities within national HIV/AIDS plans.To assist countries in this process, we are funding research to support the introduction of anti-retroviral therapy in resource poor settings. This research will provide vital knowledge and evidence to better inform key policy decisions about access to treatment. We are carefully monitoring and sharing lessons on important issues including pro-poor impact, scaling-up, costs and systems to support HIV treatment.