quinta-feira, 13 de março de 2008

The Economist: uma visão da aids no Brasil.

The Economist dessa semana publicou reportagem no Brasil mostrando que a aids avança no interior e, entre as mulheres. A aids "vai" para o interior, os homicídios também "foram". Ora, a economia também foi para o interior e, parte da população lá se fixou. Nada estranho. Importante ressaltar que a taxa de prevalência no Brasil é baixa, 0,6% como ressalta a revista, isto porque o programa de tratamento é tão efetivo que mantém os infectados vivos. Ao contrário, de outros países.
A portrait in red Mar 13th 2008 SÃO PAULO From The Economist print edition One of the world's most successful AIDS programmes faces new problems BRAZIL'S government is accustomed to being lampooned for being wasteful, ineffectual and corrupt. Occasionally, though, it does something really well. Keeping HIV/AIDS under control in a country where sex rivals football as the national sport is an impressive achievement, and over the past 20 years the government has done just that. Now, however, the disease has spread across Brazil (see maps). Although the total number of cases remains low at 620,000, representing 0.6% of those aged 15-49, the change in the profile of sufferers is taking the fight to places where it will be much harder to win. “The epidemic has now taken the contours of the general population,” says Mariângela Simão, who runs the federal government's AIDS programme in Brasília, the capital. “It has become a portrait of Brazil.” Brazil's epidemic began life among gay men in the south-east of the country, probably after travelling south from the United States rather than west from Africa. Had the virus not affected some white men living in the country's most prosperous region, the response might have been less energetic, some suggest under their breath. Thankfully, it was energetic, and it has taken three forms. First, there has always been an insistence on the need to wear condoms, particularly at carnival time (when the usual supply of free prophylactics increases by 40%). The World Bank recently helped the government to buy a billion condoms (for 190m inhabitants)—around a tenth of the world's total supply. It took a year to find factories with sufficient capacity and the right quality controls to fill the order. Second, the government funds free treatment for anyone with AIDS. This has involved side-stepping patents on anti-retroviral drugs to keep the bill down. Brazil saved an estimated $30m last year through the compulsory licensing of Efavirenz, a drug developed by Merck. But this strategy has its limits: the launch onto the market of one new drug has been delayed despite undergoing some clinical trials in Brazil. Third, NGOs have been good at publicising the cause and at holding federal and local governments to their promises. This is particularly important in the north and north-east of the country where the disease is spreading fastest, and where some politicians have a semi-feudal relationship with voters. Cristina Pimenta, head of the Brazilian Interdisciplinary AIDS Association, says that NGOs are also now focused on making sure women know about the disease, get tested and, if necessary, get treated. During this year's carnival in Pernambuco, a poor state in the north-east, a government campaign was aimed almost exclusively at women. (restante clique aqui).

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