[Ip-health] Human Rights Analysis: Denying Access to Early ART Violates Rights || North/South Disparity in HIV Treatment Standard of Care Must End

Matthew Kavanagh matthew at healthgap.org
Mon Jun 8 08:03:08 PDT 2015

*Human Rights Analysis: North/South Disparity in HIV Treatment Standard of
Care Must End*
*Denying Access to Early/Immediate ART Violates Rights, Opens States and
International Organizations to Challenge*

A new analysis
 in the *Health & Human Rights Journal *by researchers, activists, and
clinicians based in the U.S., Southern Africa, and Europe  details the new
medical evidence that access to antiretrovirals early in the course of HIV
clearly improves the health of people living with HIV and enables them to
prevent HIV transmission.  The evidence was cemented last week with news
the START clinical trial was halted because it was so clear that initiating
HIV treatment immediately upon detection had strong clinical benefits for
patients. Given this reality, the analysis finds that international human
rights and many domestic legal standards require access to early ART for
all as part of the communal human right to health. Where not long ago it
was sufficient to use ARVs to prevent the sick from dying, today new
medical evidence makes access to ARVs for all who want it, regardless of
their CD4 count, a core human right.  Yet there is a stark global
disparity—many high income countries in the global North have long enabled
immediate initiation of ARVs, but lower income countries, where the
majority of people living with live, choose or are forced to ration ARVs to
only those significantly immune compromised.  This article argues this
rationing violates core minimum human rights obligations which require
governments to reform policy, donors to fulfill their obligations, and
international organizations to facilitate access through rights-based
guidance. Today’s human rights standards require not just government
funding but increased donor support, reform of intellectual property rules
in many countries to enable affordable generic access, and health policy
changes to ensure faster access to new medicines and strengthened health
systems. Given the current discussions at the World Health Organization and
in many countries about HIV treatment guidelines, this analysis calls for a
rapid reassessment to bring policy into compliance with core human rights

*Matthew M. Kavanagh, Jennifer Cohn, Lynette Mabote, Benjamin Mason Meier,
Brian Williams, Asia Russell, Kenly Sikweze, and Brook K. Baker. *2015.
“Evolving Human Rights and the Science of Antiretroviral Medicine” *Health
& Human Rights Journal *17(1), June 2015.

*Download the article*


And see the New York Times article
the START Trial.

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