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By Nancy Harris

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And a well-developed transportation system ensures that a sexually transmitted virus will spread widely once it arrives. When HIV arrived, in 1986, it had been battering other countries for five years, and its dynamics were well known. But instead of mobilizing to contain the virus, public officials blithely asserted that India’s “moral character” and conservative sexual mores would keep it from spreading. The virus quickly defied that prediction, racing through red-light districts, infecting both sex workers and their clients.

Even when we do develop an HIV vaccine, there is no guarantee that it will be used appropriately. This new framework gives the public and private sectors the chance to become partners in getting important academic, financial, and logistic support. Effective coordination, maintenance, and expansion of these structures are essential. Equally important is the need for cooperation among these international bodies, to ensure that the efforts are not inhibited by organisational pride, traditions, or the desire to be first.

S. firm under a generic name. Compulsory licensing can lower the price of medicines by seventy-five percent or more. Parallel importing allows a company or a government agency to purchase AIDS medicines from industrialized countries at the lowest prices and resell them at these prices in their own countries. S. pharmaceutical companies object to them on the grounds that they diminish corporate profits. The United States government has supported these pharmaceutical companies by withholding trade benefits from and threatening trade sanctions against developing countries for attempting to utilize compulsory licensing and parallel importing.

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