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Central America seals historic laboratories and testing boost:

This article was originally published in Clinica

Executive Summary

Six Central American countries have pledged to improve laboratory testing and monitoring of HIV/AIDS, as part of a series of agreements aimed at better managing the condition, it was announced yesterday (February 3 2003). Moves to improve testing received a political and financial boost from an agreement reached with five pharmaceutical companies to cut by around 55% the cost of medicines used to tackle HIV/AIDS. Negotiations involving the governments of Panama, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua also resulted in the German company Boehringer-Ingelheim offering to donate drugs aimed at preventing maternal transmission, auguring greater emphasis on prenatal testing. There are some 180,000 people in Central America infected with the HIV virus, the Pan American Health Organization estimates.

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