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The Cost of Living

Life - The Cost of Living

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Twenty-nine year old Pramote lives in Bangkok and has AIDS. If he'd been able to afford the drugs now routinely prescribed for HIV positive people in the West, he wouldn't be paralyzed and bedridden today. But Pramote is actually one of the luckier AIDS sufferers in Thailand. With the help of a project run by Doctors without Borders, his family is able to care for him at home -- a great improvement on the treatment available to most AIDS patients in the developing world.

90% of the people infected with HIV today live in developing countries, and most don't have access to the drugs that could keep them alive because they are still under patent to major pharmaceutical companies -- and so too expensive for their national health services.

This Life program investigates why Thailand and South Africa applied to use compulsory licenses and parallel importing -- practices agreed under World Trade Organization guidelines -- to make their own generic versions of anti-retroviral drugs to halt the AIDS epidemic in their countries, and asks why anti-retroviral drugs still aren't included in their lists of essential drugs.