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A Movement for Global Health Equity?:

A Movement for Global Health Equity? A Closing Reflection Matthew Basilico , Vanessa Kerry, Luke Messac , Arjun Suri , Jonathan Weigel , Marguerite Thorp Basilico , Joia Mukherjee, Paul Farmer Brittany D’Amaro

Reimagining AIDS Activism:

Reimagining AIDS Activism “Advancing global health equity demands broad-based and transnational movements.” (340) t hree advocacy campaigns targeted at the AIDS epidemic: AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power Treatment Action Campaign 2004/2008 Stop AIDS Campaigns

AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power - (ACT UP):

AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power - (ACT UP) March 1987 – first AIDS drug, Retrovir $8,000 per patient, per year “high research and development costs” many could not afford it, especially those in other poorer countries

AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (Cont.):

AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (Cont.) ACT UP was formed in New York City, 1987 t argeted “the government’s mismanagement of the AIDS crisis HIV/AIDS patients and: f riends f amilies c aregivers a llies

AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (Cont.):

AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (Cont.) March 24, 1987 – first protest against Retrovir manufacturer September 14, 1989 – second protest against Retrovir manufacturer on Wall Street Protests led to: FDA shortening approval process for HIV drugs by 2 years a llowing AIDS patients to take part in clinical trials d ecreased price of Retrovir by 20%

Treatment Action Campaign:

Treatment Action Campaign South Africa, December 1998 “to challenge by means of litigation, lobbying, advocacy and all forms of legitimate mobilization, any barrier or obstacle, including unfair discrimination, that limits access to treatment for HIV/AIDS in the private or public sector” f ounders: Zackie Achmat , Mark Heywood m embers of African National Congress

Treatment Action Campaign (Cont.):

Treatment Action Campaign (Cont.) 600 South Africans per day died of AIDS t reatment limited to wealthy m any were not “health literate” p olitical leaders would not discuss it openly

Treatment Action Campaign (Cont.):

Treatment Action Campaign (Cont.) c ivil disobedience s treet demonstrations l awsuits in constitutional court d ata-driven pamphlets m arches 2000 – 5,000 protestors 2003 – 20,000 protestors

Treatment Action Campaign (Cont.):

Treatment Action Campaign (Cont.) b ecame “largest organized activist constituency of people living with AIDS in the developing world” s purred price reductions for medications p ublic-sector programs began providing therapy for hundreds of thousands

2004 Stop AIDS Campaign:

2004 Stop AIDS Campaign Health GAP, the Global AIDS Alliance, the Student Global AIDS Campaign collaboration g oal: get every major presidential candidate to commit to double AIDS funding “bird-dogging” – appeared at events and repeatedly asked candidates to commit a ll 7 democratic candidates pledged, Bush did not

2008 Stop AIDS Campaign:

2008 Stop AIDS Campaign demanded funding be raised by another $20 billion, and: t rain 140,000 new health workers in poor countries r epeal ban on funding for syringe exchanges e xpand Medicaid coverage for people with HIV s upport increased access to generic drugs a ll democrats pledged, including Obama no republicans pledged

“The Advocate’s Toolkit”:

“The Advocate’s Toolkit” Engage in critical self-reflection. Find good partners. Know the issues. Start a dialogue with policymakers. Highlight key issues. Organize a public demonstration. Build a coalition. Be the change.

Moving Forward:

Moving Forward i ncreasing aid while improving aid effectiveness s trengthening health systems d eveloping and delivering new health technologies


“Every storm must begin with a single drop of rain. And so it is with every worthwhile movement . . . . It begins with an idea that is too simple to be taken seriously . . . . and then comes the storm.” - Marco Caceres

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