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Apr-25-2006 13:42printcomments

Students Teach-In Rally Demands Access to Treatment for Those Infested With HIV Globally

Willamette University students say they will rally to raise awareness and demand increased access to treatment for those who are infected with HIV internationally.

Photo of woman and child with HIV
Photo of woman and child with HIV

(SALEM) - Members of the Willamette University Student Global AIDS Campaign and the Salem community will raise awareness for the need to make HIV medications more readily available internationally.

Speakers include Willamette students, and Professor Joyce Millen (Co-author of Global AIDS: Myths and Facts) and Lowen Berman from the HIV Daycenter in Multnomah County.

Participants will engage in a nation-wide campaign targeting Gilead Sciences and Abbott Laboratories to demand increases in treatment access for the millions of HIV-positive people living in the global south who do not have access to treatment.

Those who are involved are hoping the event will raise awareness about the issue of HIV/AIDS treatment and inspire people to get involved. With over 40 million people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide, only 2% currently have access to treatment.

Children living in the global south are increasingly vulnerable to HIV infection, and have little hope for treatment. Thanks to advanced medical care, children born to HIV-positive mothers in Europe and the United States are rarely infected. Since there are relatively few first world children living with HIV, pharmaceutical companies simply do not bother researching pediatric formulations of the life-sustaining antiretroviral medications. Since adult dosages are toxic to children, most children living with HIV will die without the benefit of treatment simply because drug companies cannot make a profit selling pediatric doses.

Willamette student Will Nevius says answers are at hand, `We have the resources to save lives! We need to tell companies like Abbott Laboratory and Gilead Sciences to put people over profits and start finding ways to provide treatment access to all those who need it!

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