In order to alleviate budgetary problems in Brazil’s AIDS program some 700 activists are participating in the 12º Enong, a meeting of NGOs that deals with AIDS (Encontro Nacional de Organizações Não-Governamentais/Aids).
Most of the US$ 510,000 (1.2 billion reais) earmarked for the program that treats 163,000 Brazilian HIV positive patients free of charge is used to buy antiretroviral drugs.
The head of the Ministry of Health’s Civil Society and Human Rights Outreach Unit, Roberto Brandt, and the deputy director of the AIDS program, Mariangela Simão, point out that Brazil’s AIDS program has achieved international recognition for excellence in prevention, treatment and even established an efficient support network for early diagnosis.
On the streets of Curitiba a demonstration is planned by the organizers of the Enong with the objective of making people aware of the program and its problems.
The march will also seek to pressure the government to speed up compulsory licensing so Brazilian laboratories can manufacture some of the antiretroviral drugs at lower cost.