Activists at the International AIDS Conference disrupt a session sponsored by the pharmaceutical giant, Roche – why did they take action? Watch the HCLU’s movie and learn more!
Hepatitis C has been dubbed “the silent epidemic” – because the infection can remain unnoticed for several years or even decades after transmission of the virus, and also because this epidemic has received much less public attention than HIV. Hepatitis C is much more infectious than HIV and in the majority of cases leads to potentially-fatal liver cirrhosis. Approximately 2 million people are infected with Hepatitis C every year, many of them belong to marginalized groups such as injecting drug users. The treatment for Hep C (pegylated interferon) is marketed by big pharmaceutical companies (Merck and Roche) and costs thousands of dollars for a few weeks. As a result, access to treatment in transitional and developing countries is very low. Activists at the International AIDS Conference disrupted a seminar sponsored by Roche to protest the high prices and “Big Pharma’s greed”. HCLU’s video advocacy team filmed the action and asked participants to explain their cause.