Need and Access
If effective microbicides are to have an impact on the HIV/AIDS epidemic, they must be made accessible to women and men at highest risk as soon as possible. Regrettably, many important health innovations remain beyond the reach of those who need them. Not infrequently, decades pass before new drugs and vaccines developed in rich countries become available in poorer ones.
Access and use must be the ultimate goal of all microbicide work. Advocates have argued that it is not enough to set our sights on "developing" a microbicide. Our goal must be widespread access and use.
Rockefeller Foundation Report: Microbicide Access & Use Working Group
In 2001, the Rockefeller Foundation convened a working group of advocates and scientists to explore what needs to happen today to ensure that microbicides will be available and affordable to those who need them, and that individuals have the knowledge, skills, power, and social support necessary to use them. The Global Campaign was actively involved.
The resulting document, "Preparing for Access and Use," lays out an ambitious plan of research and action to ensure that:
- Individuals want to use microbicides, and know how to use them properly.
- Policy makers, health professionals, NGOs, researchers and communities actively support microbicide development, their incorporation into HIV/STI prevention and reproductive health programs, and their use
- Microbicides are readily and reliably available in outlets convenient to potential users, especially in developing countries
- Cost is not a barrier to microbicide use
- Microbicides are approved and licensed by relevant authorities rapidly and efficiently
The document concludes: "It is inefficient, and even unethical, to repeat the mistakes of the past that have forced individuals in the developing world to wait years, sometimes decades, to gain access to much-needed drugs or vaccines."
For the entire Rockefeller report on access and use, click pdf