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Oral Answers to Questions — HIV/AIDS

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 25th April 2001.

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Photo of Clare Short Clare Short Secretary of State, Department for International Development 12:00 am, 25th April 2001

I am not familiar with the Brazilian resolution. However, I repeat that most poor and infected people in Africa are not in touch with any health care system; if drugs were free, they would not get them. Since 1997, we have committed £1 billion to help support the building of primary health care systems across the world. That is what we need, along with prevention, care for those who are infected and treatment of opportunistic infections. We must then take up pharmaceutical companies' offer of cheap, anti-retroviral drugs, when that can be done responsibly. We are working on that strongly in the international community. I am glad that there is now a much bigger commitment from African heads of state than previously, so I hope that we can make faster progress.