Drugs into Bodies recounts the emergence and development of a globally oriented AIDS treatment activist movement that refused to accept that more than 40 million people with HIV in the developing world should simply be left to die. Rooted in earlier AIDS activist efforts, this new movement has forged a global network dedicated to providing universal access to life-saving medications.
More than 40 million people are living with HIV/AIDS worldwide, yet only a small fraction have access to life-saving treatments. For many years, governments, pharmaceutical companies, and even some international relief agencies have called this a tragic but unavoidable situation, given the high cost of the medications used to fight HIV. A small but growing group of activists, however, have banded together to prove that the obstacles to universal HIV treatments are mostly human-made, and thus can be overcome by human actions.
Drugs into Bodies chronicles the birth and expansion of the global AIDS treatment activist movement, focusing in particular on the U.S.-based organization Health GAP. Drawing on the legacy of the protest group ACT UP and other earlier AIDS activism, Health GAP and like-minded allies have forged a global network to combat the AIDS crisis in Africa and throughout the developing world. From the White House to the United Nations, from plush corporate offices to South African shantytowns, AIDS treatment activists have defied the dictates of globalization, altered government policies, shamed multinational corporations, secured funding for treatment, and brought hope to millions of people with HIV.