Brazil and the changing meanings of ‘universal access’ to antiretrovirals during the early twenty-first century
Dozens of Brazilians, including members of non-governmental organisations and officers of the Ministry of Health, participated in the 1996 International Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) meeting in Vancouver where antiretrovirals (ARVs) were announced, and upon their return home demanded their use in Brazil’s strong public health system. Unfortunately, treatment without strong prevention programmes became a mending patch and contributed to the obliteration of the goal of universal access to Human Immuno-Deficiency Virus drugs. Thailand, South Africa, and Senegal, among other governments of developing countries, followed Brazil, and international organisations, such as Medicins San Frontieres, Partners in Health, and United Nations Programme on AIDS , launched pilot programmes providing ARVs in developing nations. Health leaders, like Paulo Teixeira – the architect of the Sao Paulo and Brazil’s national anti-AIDS programme – testified before the World Trade Organization panel and Brazilian diplomats lobbied politicians in Washington, DC.