Since the early 1980s, AIDS has ravaged the lives and livelihoods of millions of people. Nearly 30 million people have died from AIDS. But over the past few years, a quiet global revolution has enabled millions of people infected by HIV to live healthy lives.
In the early 1990s, when antiretroviral drugs became available, AIDS was transformed from a certain death sentence to a manageable, chronic disease–but only for some. The expense of the drugs and their distribution prevented 95 percent of those living with HIV from getting access to them. International outrage that millions were dying because of economic disparity helped reduce drug prices, and also helped to create the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in 2002. Through the Global Fund and the U.S. President’s Emergency Program for AIDS Relief, the world began to invest in a massive roll out of antiretroviral treatment in more than 100 developing countries. Doctors and health care workers around the world have adapted complicated procedures to settings where people often could not access even the most basic care. Already, millions of lives that otherwise might have been lost are being saved. Equally important, providing treatment is becoming a central part of the efforts to prevent further spread of the disease.
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Access to Life Exhibition in Washington D.C., USA
Access to Life was first exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington DC, from June 14 to July 20, 2008. Since then, it has traveled to Madrid, Oslo, Rome, and Oakland California, with future exhibits planned for Japan and Australia.
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