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Access to treatment as a right to life and health.

Canadian HIV/AIDS policy & law review / Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network

Venezuela, Humans, Human Rights, legislation & jurisprudence, Health Services Accessibility, therapy, Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome

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      In some countries in Latin America, in the absence of leadership from governments, activists have had to resort to the courts to obtain access to HIV/AIDS treatments for people with HIV/AIDS. In his presentation to the XIII International AIDS Conference (abstract TuOrE458), Edgar Carrasco, of Acción Ciudadana Contra el Sida (ACCSI), discusses the process that was followed in Venezuela. The presentation describes the very limited access people with HIV/AIDS had to antiretroviral therapies and treatments for opportunistic infections under Venezuela's health and social security systems. It provides details of lawsuits that were launched on behalf of several individuals living with HIV/AIDS, and that resulted in the courts ordering the government to provide treatments for these individuals and, eventually, for all people with HIV/AIDS in Venezuela. The presentation concludes that recourse to the courts is a useful tool for activists and that civil actions launched on behalf of people with HIV/AIDS can serve as an example for people with other chronic diseases.

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