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Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Print version ISSN 0042-9686

Bull World Health Organ vol.80 n.2 Genebra Jan. 2002 

Antiretrovirals slowly become more available

One in five African countries are making progress towards providing broad access to antiretroviral drugs (ARVs), WHO and UNAIDS officials say. The number of patients with access to ARVs has increased during the last 18 months in countries that have negotiated agreements with pharmaceutical companies. Seventy-two countries have expressed interest in the "Accelerating Access" effort, and 14 have signed agreements through the initiative, 10 of which are in Africa. Prices of some ARVs have been cut by an average of 85%. The Accelerating Access initiative began with a partnership between UNAIDS, UNICEF, WHO and the World Bank and five pharmaceutical companies: Boehringer- Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, F. Hoffmann-La Roche, GlaxoSmithKline, and Merck & Co., Inc. It has since been broadened to include other members of the industry. Further information can be found at