(2010; 14 pages)
From starting HIV treatment to maintenance, the treatment process works, but each step is cumbersome and expensive.
Up to 80% of the cost of treatment isn’t for the medication but for the systems to get it to a person and to keep him or her on it.
Globally, only one third of people who need treatment are on it. HIV testing is underutilized—most people still find out that they are HIV-positive when they develop clinical symptoms of AIDS. Antiretroviral therapy is not homogenous in cost, effectiveness or tolerability. And resistance can build up, making it necessary to maintain costly labs to monitor each person on treatment. Today, an estimated 5 million people living with HIV in low- and middle-income countries are receiving treatment, up from about 400 000 in 2003—a more than 12- fold increase in six years.
Despite progress, the global coverage of antiretroviral therapy remains low. For every two people newly on treatment, five more become newly infected. A majority of people living with HIV are unaware of their HIV status. And although easily preventable, rates of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in many countries remain high...