HAART for Children: the convention
The Convention will be 20 years old on 20 November 2009. On this special occasion, we want political leaders to tell the children of the world how they have promoted and respected the child’s right to health.
Pediatric anti-retroviral treatment for HIV and HIV/TB co-infection in children is not considered to be profitable as the market for pediatric anti-retroviral care exists mainly in low-income countries.
But we all have a responsibility for these children. How can we allow profits to be given priority over people?
How can we allow a child to contract HIV from his or her mother, when presently there are cost-effective measures to avoid such transmission?
How can we tolerate the fact that an HIV-positive child will die of AIDS-related illnesses just because governments and pharmaceutical companies do not want to invest in research on and development of much needed child-friendly formulations to treat HIV and HIV/TB in children?
Pharmaceutical companies can exert a profound impact on the realization of this right.
Pharmaceutical companies set the prices of diagnostic equipment for detecting HIV in children or of pediatric anti-retrovirals (ARVs) at an unaffordable level.
When they do not invest in research and development of much needed medications to treat HIV in children, or when they lobby for legal standards that limit access to medicines for HIV-positive people, these companies are obstructing the State’s ability to respect, protect and fulfill the right to health.