Bioethics News

Is it ethically admissible that more than half of HIV-positive patients do not have access to treatment?

‘The incidence of HIV infection has not fallen, making treatments accessible is a pressing public health measure’

As reported in medical journal The Lancet (38; 2484–2485, 2016), more than 75 million people have been infected with HIV since AIDS was discovered in 1981, and more than 36 million people have died. On the plus side, however, this viral infection is no longer fatal, but is a treatable chronic disease. However, at present, fewer than half of people infected with HIV have access to anti-retroviral therapy, which could be crucial to save their lives.

For this reason, one of the main goals of the XXI International AIDS Conference, which was held from 18 to AIds22 July in Durban, South Africa, is to see how this treatment could be extended to a larger number of HIV-positive individuals worldwide. Given, moreover, that that the incidence of HIV infection has not fallen, making treatments accessible is a pressing public health measure, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa, and especially among young homosexual males and transsexual women, and in intravenous drug users in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

A basic principle of social justice in the field of human rights requires that anti-retroviral treatments be accessible to all HIV-positive patients, which is not the case at present.

La entrada Is it ethically admissible that more than half of HIV-positive patients do not have access to treatment? aparece primero en Observatorio de Bioética, UCV.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.