began its aggressive approach to HIV treatment, the country's
health care system has increased the number of drugs it provides
to those infected with the virus. Officials have also had
to incorporate newly infected patients into their treatment programs.
However, the amount of money the government spent each year on
drugs for HIV-positive citizens decreased by $104 million between
1999 and 2001 even though more than 32,000 new patients were added
to the program during that time period.
has controlled the cost of antiretroviral drugs by producing many
in its own network of public labs, and negotiating for cuts in
drug prices purchased from foreign pharmaceutical companies.
in spending on treatment of HIV-positive patients who become ill
has offset some of the government's drug costs. The Ministry of
Health estimates antiretroviral drugs helped prevent around 358,000
AIDS-related hospital admissions, saving their public health system
$1.1 billion [U.S.] between 1997 and 2001.
of home care and day hospitals -- where patients can receive up
to 12 hours of care on an outpatient basis -- has also helped
contain hospitalization costs.