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Developing Countries: HIV Infection

Volume 478: debated on Monday 23 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent steps the Government has taken to widen accessibility to treatment for people with AIDS in developing countries. (209715)

On 2 June the UK Government launched their updated AIDS strategy “Achieving Universal Access—the UK's strategy for halting and reversing the spread of HIV in the developing world”. The strategy sets out the UK's response to tackling HIV and AIDS in developing countries to 2015, including access to treatment. Working with others, the UK will work to reduce drug prices and increase access to more affordable and sustainable treatment over the long-term. This could yield cost efficiency savings of at least £50 million per annum, enough to fund medicines for an additional one million people every year.

The UK Government launched the Medical Transparency Alliance (MeTA) in May. By disclosing information on the price, quality and availability of medicines, MeTA will help to increase public accountability and improve access to medicines, including HIV treatment. The UK will also continue to support UNITAID, the international drugs purchase facility, to reduce the cost of HIV treatment.

Starting in 2008, the Department for International Development will support a new regional programme on Access to Medicines in Southern Africa. The programme will spend £10 million over the first three years to deliver more affordable, quality medicines and diagnostics, including for HIV and AIDS.

A copy of the updated strategy and supporting evidence paper have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses. These are also available on the Department for International Development (DFID) website: