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Am J Public Health. 2005 Jul;95(7):1110-6. Epub 2005 Jun 2.

Brazil and access to HIV/AIDS drugs: a question of human rights and public health.

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  • 1Institute for Global Health, University of California, San Francisco, USA.


I explore the relationship between public health and human rights by examining the Brazilian government's policy of free and universal access to anti-retroviral medicines for people with HIV/AIDS. The Brazilian government's management of the HIV/AIDS epidemic arose from initiatives in both civil society and the governmental sector following the democratization of the country. The dismantling of authoritarian rule in Brazil was accompanied by a strong orientation toward human rights, which formed the sociopolitical framework of Brazil's response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Even if the Brazilian experience cannot be easily transferred to other countries, the model of the Brazilian government's response may nonetheless serve as inspiration for finding appropriate and lifesaving solutions in other national contexts.

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