TED Conversations

Michelle Capon

Project Manager, Bayshore Home Health

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How do you reduce the transmission rate when govt's won't pay for a needle exchange program let alone antiretrovirals which are $1700 pmonth

I have a real interest in needle exchange programs and really loved what Elizabeth Pisani discussed in her TED talk Sex, Drugs and HIV - lets get rational. The problem I have is that Governments who don't provide Healthcare for their citizens won't provide condom programs or needle exchange programs let alone supply HIV positive individuals with antiretrovirals that control their tranmission levels. Antiretrovirals cost somewhere in the region of $1,700 - $2,000 per month. How do we reduce the cost of these much needed meds and make them more available. The other question I would love to put out there is that being on these drugs has a certain stigma attached to them as well as actually admitting that you have HIV so how do we address this as well. In theory HIV rates should be diminishing but they are not.


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  • Apr 12 2011: The problem is that if a given government doesn't provide healthcare to its citizens, why should it start doing so just for the limited applications you mention? I'm not saying they aren't worthy, just that presumably somebody somewhere has to decide what gets funded and what doesn't.

    I imagine the stigma you mention is because anybody with HIV is assumed to be either an addict or gay, and society is still full of people who can't handle that yet.
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      Apr 15 2011: Revett

      I completely agree with you on your first comment. Its sad to think governments can pick and choose more worthy causes for support of treatment!

      And yes thats exactly what I mean from a stigma point of view.
      Thanks for your comments.

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