Global prevention, funding and accountability debated in fight against HIV/AIDS

Medical and scientific progress enjoyed by the few is inaccessible to the many

VIENNA, Austria -- At the Third International Conference on Healthcare Resource Allocation for HIV/AIDS and Other Life-Threatening Illnesses in Vienna, October 11 - 13, world leaders, physicians, economists, governmental health organizations, and pharmaceutical manufacturers will discuss the economic, ethical, and human rights issues underlying healthcare resource allocation. Some of the highlights of this meeting include:

Consequences of a fragmented response to a global crisis
In his keynote speech opening the Vienna conference, former US Secretary of Health and Human Services Louis Sullivan argued that a "better balance of financial and human resources made available for prevention and primary care, versus resources for acute care (including tertiary and quaternary care) must be achieved." Sullivan told the 250-plus conference delegates that "critical adjuncts [to the fight against AIDS must] include health education of populations, economic development, and the establishment of a sound public health system to assure that the marvelous advances from our biomedical research enterprise can be effectively implemented worldwide."

Are medical ethical standards used in the West appropriate in developing countries?
Emma Pickworth, LL.B., M. Jur., University of Central Lancashire, U.K., suggested that while scientific validity must be assured, there are situations in which it is ethically acceptable for standards of informed consent, compensation and confidentiality to be lower in developing countries. "This is due to the crisis inherent in the situation and the expense incurred in applying high ethical standards," she says, and requires new guidance to achieve a compromise between universal and situational ethics.

Is access to essential drugs a basic human right?
The effects of international trade regulation, including the

Contact: Kirk Monroe
K-M Communications

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