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Brazilian PWAs Face Drug Cutoff

By Rex Wockner
International News Report

brazil.jpg - 11.14 K Brazil's national health-care system will stop providing expensive drugs to treat HIV and certain other diseases in October because the Brazilian currency has lost value against the U.S. dollar.

The government would need an immediate infusion of $110 million to continue the drug programs, officials said.

Some AIDS drugs that are produced in Brazil -- including AZT, ddI and d4T -- may continue to be available.

Brazilian AIDS deaths dropped 38.7 percent between 1996 and 1998 as patients began taking protease-inhibitor-based combination treatments.

Meanwhile, AIDS Treatment News reports that the Buenos Aires, Argentina, city government ceased providing anti-HIV drugs on August 5 due to financial problems.

"We need a consensus that poor countries, or countries in a financial crisis, be allowed to obtain proprietary drugs at or near cost as an alternative to not having them at all," ATN said.

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