Intellectual property rights or human rights?

patentes-medicinasThere’s been a billion-dollar drop in international aid for developing country HIV/AIDS programmes over the past two years, but levels of HIV infection and mortality from AIDS remain unacceptably high. As rich countries pursue stronger protections for private intellectual property rights, further limiting poor countries’ ability to produce cheaper generic medicines including anti-retrovirals, Riaz K. Tayob considers the impact on social rights to health.

The 18 to 23 July International AIDS Conference held in Vienna this year, subtitled ‘Rights Here, Right Now’ was a platform to raise, yet again, the values-based universal and indivisible human rights and the political commitments that inform our response, globally, to the unacceptable level of new HIV infection and mortality from AIDS. At the same time the shrinking provision of aid to low income countries and persistence of avoidable inequities globally in the progressive realisation of these rights starkly raises the reality of the competition between social rights to health, and private rights to intellectual property.

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MSF Kenya: Double sentence for patients – TB + Prison

FreeKenyanPatientsMSF PRESS RELEASE: A double sentence for patients – TB and imprisonment
Nairobi РIn recent reports about the detention of two patients infected with tuberculosis in Nandi Central district in Kenya, the action was described as serving as a warning to people with infectious diseases who fail to take their medication. According to medical humanitarian organization M̩decins Sans Fronti̬res (MSF), the detention will increase stigmatization, and will harm rather than help the fight against the infectious disease.
This instance is representative of an international trend towards using forced isolation and treatment to protect public health. MSF believes that the need for better diagnostics and treatments should be at the forefront of the public health debate.

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