Alongside policy responses, it is vital for researchers to

Alongside
the human cost, the economic development is also disturbed, hence its incapability
to manage the pandemic (particularly low-income countries), due to the profound
effects of HIV/AIDS.  The pandemics
current and future effects on the global economy has been proven difficult to
document in comparison to the documentation of the impact of HIV/AIDS on
humanity (Dixon, 2002). Economic theory has estimated that the increasing
prevalence of HIV/AIDS increases imports yet decreases exports and productivity
and labour supplies also declines (Dixon, 2002). With particular interest on
Africa, HIV/AIDS have already decreased the typical national economic
development rates by 2-4% (Dixon, 2002). In order to create successful policy
responses, it is vital for researchers to understand the broader economic
effects of HIV/AIDS (Dixon, 2002). HIV/AIDS is also predicted to greatly impact
labour, the International Labour Organisation (2000) estimated that by 2020,
due to the pandemic workforces in 15 countries will be reduced by 24 million
individuals. The cost of HIV/AIDS also has a huge effect on labour, including;
increased costs for medical care and insurance, lost of productivity, and
hiring and retraining payments (Piot et al., 2001). A study in southern Africa
which focused on miners aged between their late 20’s and early 30’s found that
a third of the workforce were infected with the disease (Evian, 2000).

            Although not a cure, antiretroviral
therapy (ART) is recommended for individuals living with HIV to aid the
treatment of the disease, in hope patients live healthier prolonged lives. ART
also helps reduce the risk of HIV transmission (AIDSinfo, 2018). HIV infection
causes the body to reduce numbers of CD4 cells of the immune system, cells
which help fight against antibodies and infections. ART has been proven
successful by preventing HIV from multiplying, giving the body an opportunity
to gain strength and fight off infections (AIDSinfo, 2018). In low-income
countries, access to ART decides their chance of survival, which is also partly
reliant on pharmaceutical companies. The investigation into the distributions
of HIV treatment medicines from pharmaceutical companies is vital in the
understanding of the epidemic and the contribution and intensified the disease
climate in low-income countries (Juxtamagazine, 2014). Neo-colonialism is
commonly defined as the ability for developed countries to maintain control
over developing countries, using multi-national companies to ensure dependency
and vulnerability.

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            Governing bodies such as the World
Health Organisation and the United Nation propose and outline policies
regarding global access to treatments. To achieve the increasingly standards of
health, the UN Commission of Human Rights in 200 declared countries must have
access to medication (Juxtamagazine, 2014). In 2002, the World Health
Organisation adapted their Model List of Essential Medicines and 12 antiretroviral
were added. The Multi-Country AIDS Program (MAP) was introduced by the World
Bank in 2002 to increase the availability of HIV treatments in low-income
countries (Juxtamagazine, 2014). Despite that UNAIDS achieved their goal, that
by 2015 15 million people within vulnerable populations will gain access to
antiretroviral medicines, this still means that 1 in 5 people will still will
be without treatment (Juxtamagazine, 2014).

            Pharmaceutical companies receive
great and increasing sums of power, due to global realisation that to reduce
the burden of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, public access to medication is key
(Juxtamagazine, 2014). It could be argued by pharmaceutical companies that
these official policies are providing an invaluable service due to the legitimization
of these products, which gives control to the pharmaceutical companies and
ensures HIV affected countries are dependant. Contemporary neo-colonialism is
represented through this dependence (Juxtamagazine, 2014). The neo-colonial
agenda of pharmaceutical companies have underwritten to the huge inequality
between the policies on access to medication and the actual sum of individuals
receiving the treatment (Juxtamagazine, 2014). In 1987, zidovudine was released
in the United States as the first medication available to treat HIV. 5 years
later, 800,000 people worldwide were receiving antiretroviral medicines.
However, in low-income countries, where 95% of global HIV infections are
accounted for (WHO, 2002), less than 40% of the population were on this
treatment. In contrast, in the developed world antiretroviral medication is
widely accessibly (HIVclinic.ca, 2012).  

            The production of antiretroviral
medicines within developing countries has been ensured to remain dependant, a
decision decided through the cooperation of international intellectual property
laws and pharmaceutical companies (Juxtamagazine, 2014). The agreement on Trade-Related
Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) was passed by the World Trade
Organisation (WTO) in 1995 (Elliot et al., 2003). Productions of pharmaceuticals
within each country is require to grant patents, for 20 years without judgement
to accessibility. Profits are often made by the companies holding the patents,
as exaggeratedly high prices are charged for the drugs (Juxtamagazine, 2014). A
potential alternative to branded pharmaceuticals was also introduced as generic
drugs. However, various regulations were introduced to pharmaceutical companies
through the TRIPS agreement, which resulted in a discouragement of the
production of generic medication. The Doha Declaration was introduced and
signed by the WTO in 2001, which allowed members to protect the public health
of their citizens by granting domestic compulsory licenses (Juxtamagazine,
2014). Nevertheless, huge pressure from pharmaceutical companies and foreign
governments were faced by countries attempting to obtain these licenses. A
neo-colonial approach is adopted by pharmaceutical companies by authorising the
patents, which has prioritised market dominance over access to drugs and public
health.