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Model Treatment Program Set to Combat AIDS in Poorest Nations;

June 26, 2001
NEW YORK, June 26 /PRNewswire/ -- What began as a small crusade to provide HIV-positive patients with leftover and discarded treatments has grown into a full-scale program for providing treatments for people living with HIV/AIDS in 14 of the poorest African and Caribbean nations, according to AIDS Empowerment and Treatment International (AIDSETI).

With pilot funding from the Rockefeller Foundation, UNAIDS and Merck & Co., the group will employ a case management approach to treating HIV/AIDS that has a proven track record in the United States and Europe. In the 1980's, clinics in major U.S. urban areas hard hit by the AIDS crisis began providing a full range of medical and social services to patients under one roof. This model has been successfully tested by associations of people living with HIV and AIDS in 14 countries is now ready to be scaled up.

"We are on the verge of expanding one of the most successful small-scale methods for treating HIV/AIDS to the poorest countries in the world in order to increase access to treatment for millions of people living with HIV/AIDS," said AIDSETI President and C.E.O. Hans Binswanger. "The methods we will employ have evolved from countless local community programs into a model that holds the promise of providing treatment and related services around the world."

AIDSETI is committed to expand this model to over 6,000 patients in Africa and the Caribbean over the next 12 months. This pilot phase will allow for the development of a fully replicable model to be transported to some of the most heavily infected and poorest communities around the globe. The program will be detailed at a breakfast briefing on Wednesday June 27, 7:30 a.m. at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

Through informal networks, activists here in the U.S. and other developed countries have collected unused drugs and provided them at no cost to partners in countries including Venezuela, Cuba, Ivory Coast, Mali, Burundi, and Zimbabwe. The largest such efforts have been managed by ACT-Up Paris, the African AIDS Network, the African Services Committee, AID for AIDS, AIDES Federation, Cuban AIDS Relief and other partners.

With the formal launch of AIDSETI last July at the International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa, this network of associations has garnered the support of mainstream relief organizations including the Harvard AIDS Institute, UNICEF, the World Bank and Doctors Without Borders. For more information visit

SOURCE AIDS Empowerment and Treatment International Web Site: