At the end of the 1990s, public health experts identified a number of highly effective interventions to prevent and treat AIDS, TB and malaria. New knowledge about the scale of epidemics and a deeper understanding of the complex causal links among poverty, development and disease, pushed international issues of public health to the center of the world's development agenda.
At the same time, the global community began to appreciate more fully the devastation caused by HIV/AIDS in parts of Africa, the Caribbean and Asia and the potential for even greater consequences should the epidemic take root in the world's most populous nations. New lifesaving medicines for people living with HIV were priced out of reach for more than 90 percent of those who most needed them. This fueled a global movement to reduce the cost of essential medicines backed by an appeal that such commodities be seen as global public goods rather than commercial products.
Leaders around the world - in development, economics, public health and the community of non-governmental organizations, representatives for people living with HIV, the World Health Organization, the World Bank, UNAIDS and bilateral donors - sought ways to increase global spending on public health to change the course of these diseases.
Transitional Working Group
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