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India passes new restrictive patent bill

The Indian parliament has passed a new bill that will make it illegal to copy all new HIV and AIDS drugs, and will prohibit the manufacture of new fixed-dose combination antiretroviral pills.

Until recently, Indian patent laws only covered manufacturing processes rather than actual ingredients and products. As a result, India now has one of the biggest generic drug programmes in the world, and provides medication to around half of the 700,000 people currently on treatment in developing countries.


UK Health Committee calls for end to HIV treatment restrictions

Charges imposed on failed asylum seekers and illegal immigrants are creating a serious public health threat, the House of Commons Select Committee on Health said today.


South Africa finally awards ARV supply contracts as Mozambique finalises deal with Brazil

South Africa has at last awarded contracts to the pharmaceutical companies that will provide the country's huge HIV+ population with vital medications.

The National Antiretroviral Drug Treatment Programme aims to provide ARV drugs to 1.2 million individuals (approx. 25% of people with HIV in the country) by 2008. The government hopes that drugs produced by the pharmaceutical companies involved in the contract will treat around 500,000 of these people.


Alert issued over counterfeit condoms

The condom manufacturer Durex and the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency have issued an nationwide alert following the discovery of 40,000 boxes of counterfeit condoms in the Republic of Ireland.


HIV spread to UK gay population from multiple sources

The HIV epidemic amongst British homosexuals originated from multiple people entering the country with the virus according to new research published by researchers from the University College of London.

The researchers studied the genetic data of the common HIV-1 subtype B strain and discovered patterns indicating that it spread from at least six different people during the early to mid 1980s. It was previously thought that just one person was the source of infection within the gay community.


Commission for Africa launches long-awaited report

Today saw the launch of what many hope will be the most important document to address the problems faced by the countries of Africa in a generation.

Our Common Interest; Report of The Commission for Africa, is over 400 pages long and represents the culmination of a year's work by a group of 17 commissioners, half of whom are African themselves. It aims to address all the problems currently faced by the continent, and suggest practical and achievable approaches to solving them.


UN calls for $8 billion more in funding for HIV & AIDS

The United Nations AIDS Agency, UNAIDS, has said an additional $8.2 billion is going to be needed over the next three years if current programmes to combat HIV and AIDS are to be sustained.


UK's largest HIV clinic facing massive cuts

The Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, home of the largest HIV clinic in the UK, is facing a huge cut in funding for HIV-related psychological support services, it was announced today.