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Access to anti-retrovirals: the role of political activism in Mexico.
Izazola-Licea JA; Saavedra Lopez JA; Huerdo Siqueiros JR; Gonzalez
December 30, 1998
Int Conf AIDS. 1998;12:468 (abstract no. 24139). Unique Identifier :

ISSUE: Access to new antiRetrovirals (ARV) in middle income countries (Latin-America), may be less related to the national economies than it is to political will. The last one can be strongly influenced by political activism. PROJECT: Current trend in access to ARV in Mexico and it's association with political activism are analysed. The project is a systematic approach to data on availability of these drugs inside the Health Care System, were three major institutions provide most of the public care, two in a social security scheme and one (The Health Ministry) that covers uninsured population. Interviews with health officers, people living with HIV/AIDS, and NGO leaders, were part of the methodology, as well as analysis of what was covered by the media. RESULTS: Although, the first ARV were available free of charge in social security institutions, there was not until strong political pressure and rallies from people affected by HIV/AIDS, as well as wide media coverage in the middle of 1997, that they decided to include the newer ARV. However, the Health Ministry, is not doing so, arguing budgetary contraints. Nevertheless, it announced the creation of a fiduciary mechanisms to collect funds form private and public sources in order to provide ARV. Since it was not clear the way that mechanism would work, and wether enough resources would be available, stronger pressure started to build up, not only from AIDS Activists, but also from health specialists, as well as the discussions of the Brazil AIDS policy during the 6th National AIDS Congress, and the publication of a study on costs estimates of AIDS medical care in Mexico. LESSONS LEARNED: Political activism plays a major role influencing policy makers in Mexico; however, some of them, will still wait for technical and economic evidence showing that it is feasible and sustainable to provide anti-retrovirals from public budgets.

MEETING ABSTRACTS Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/*DRUG THERAPY *Anti-HIV Agents/PHARMACOLOGY Health Services Accessibility/*LEGISLATION & JURISPRUD Human HIV Infections/*DRUG THERAPY Mexico Patient Advocacy/*LEGISLATION & JURISPRUD *Politics