The Politics and History of AIDS Treatment in Brazil

  • Amy Nunn

About this book


The Politics and History of AIDS Treatment in Brazil

Amy Nunn, Center for AIDS Research, Brown University Medical School, Providence

In 1992, the World Bank warned that Brazil would face enormous challenges confronting the AIDS crisis, and forecast that Brazil would have 1.2 million people living with HIV by the year 2000. Today, AIDS prevalence in Brazil is approximately 660,000, and Brazil is home to the oldest and one of the largest public AIDS treatment programs in the developing world. Challenging the conventional wisdom that AIDS treatment was infeasible in developing countries, Brazil has halved AIDS-related deaths and dramatically reduced AIDS-related morbidity. Today, Brazil’s AIDS program is considered a global model.

The first book to narrate Brazil’s complex and inspiring history, The Politics and History of AIDS Treatment in Brazil traces development of Brazil’s AIDS treatment policies during the country’s tumultuous path to democracy as its government redefined access to health care as a basic right. Meticulously researched, and drawing on dozens of interviews with politicians, activists, people living with HIV/AIDS, pharmaceutical executives and health care providers, this profound volume explains the key role of Brazil in raising global AIDS consciousness. The Politics and History of AIDS Treatment in Brazil also explores the global implications of Brazil’s program and identifies the challenges ahead for addressing HIV/AIDS in the developing world.

In clear, accessible detail, The Politics and History of AIDS Treatment in Brazil examines:

  • Brazil’s long history of AIDS treatment in the context of progressive social movements.
  • The coalition-building between politicians, activists and government agencies in developing the country’s National AIDS Program.
  • The role of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government in promoting access to drugs for AIDS treatment in Brazil.
  • The government’s controversial decisions to produce generic AIDS drugs and challenge multinational pharmaceutical corporations regarding AIDS drug prices.
  • Brazil’s ongoing efforts to promote global access to AIDS treatment and the country’s contributions to international health, human rights, and trade law related to access to medicines.
  • The impact of the Brazilian experience on global AIDS drug prices and global AIDS treatment policy.

The Politics and History of AIDS Treatment in Brazil contains invaluable lessons for readers across disciplines, particularly researchers and practitioners in health policy, global health, HIV/AIDS, political science, and Latin American studies.

"This is an exceptional academic work, one that deserves to be widely read, and that in my opinion will come to be considered the leading historical study on the social and policy response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Brazil – and one of the major policy studies on the response to the AIDS epidemic anywhere in the world."

Richard Parker, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University

With foreword by former Brazilian President Fernando Cardoso.


AIDS Brazil HIV HIV/AIDS Latin America Public Health School of Public Health Tod developing world epidemic health policy health reform universal access to care

Authors and affiliations

  • Amy Nunn
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Infectious DiseasesBrown University Alpert School of MedicineProvidenceUSA

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