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'Fire in the Blood' Explores The Fight To Bring Low-Cost AIDS Drugs to Africa

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Photo courtesy of Dartmouth Films

By Brian Shaw
Staff Writer

The idea that all people have an essential human right to health is a popular one here at UCSF. However, this is not universally recognized.

In the early years of the AIDS epidemic, poor countries in sub-Saharan Africa often lacked the drugs that they needed to treat their populations due to exorbitantly high prices charged by western drug companies. Now, after years of activism and advocacy, treatment costs have plummeted.

The Global Health Sciences Masters’ program and the School of Medicine Global Health Interest Group will sponsor a screening of Fire in the Blood, a documentary about big pharma, antiretrovirals (ART) and this “Crime of the Century.”

Hailed at Sundance 2013, Fire in the Blood tells the story of the coalition that came together to fight for low-cost ART and about how the fight is far from over. Shot on four continents, the film includes contributions from Bill Clinton, Desmond Tutu and Joseph Stiglitz.

After the film, there will be an expert panel of UCSF faculty, including former U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, Dr. Eric Goosby, HIV expert clinician Dr. Monica Gandhi, former Dean of the UCSF School of Nursing Dr. Sally Rankin and Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy Dr. Lisa Bero.

All are welcome next Wednesday, February 26 from 5-8 p.m. in Cole Hall to view the documentary and learn about the path forward from an esteemed panel. The event is free.

Brain Shaw is a first-year medical student.

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