Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) began providing antiretroviral therapy to a small number of people living with HIV/AIDS in 2000 in projects in Thailand, South Africa and Cameroon. At the time, treatment for one person for one year cost more than $10,000.
With increased availability of low-cost quality antiretroviral drugs (ARVs), MSF currently provides treatment to 285,000 people, implementing treatment strategies to reach more people, earlier in their disease progression, while increasingly encouraging patients to take on a more central role in the management of their care.
Over the past 13 years, the MSF Access Campaign has been monitoring the patent barriers, prices and availability of ARVs through Untangling the Web and pushing for the uptake of policies that promote access to affordable quality medicines. Due primarily to generic competition, the price of ARVs has dropped by more than 99% over the last decade, but the price of the newest drugs, already needed by some people in MSF projects, is prohibitive and a source of great concern both for MSF and for national treatment programmes.
16th Edition – July 2013