For more than 20 years, Abbott has made a significant contribution to the fight against HIV/AIDS through the development of innovative tests and medicines. Building on this history, Abbott and the Abbott Fund have invested more than $100 million to advance HIV testing, treatment and support services in developing countries through Abbott Global AIDS Care programs. Working together with local and international partners, Abbott is improving the lives of people affected by HIV/AIDS through programs targeting critical areas of need in developing countries. This is an extension of Abbott's commitment to global citizenship, which informs how our company advances our business objectives, engages our stakeholders, implements our policies, applies our social investment and philanthropy, and exercises our influence to make a productive contribution to society.
Abbott Global AIDS Care programs focus on four key areas: strengthening health care systems, helping children affected by HIV/AIDS, preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and expanding access to testing and treatment. Together with our implementing partner organizations, Abbott and Abbott Fund are pioneering innovative model programs, and sharing progress and lessons learned to encourage the adaptation of successful programs.
Preventing Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV
A mother infected with HIV has a 30 percent risk of passing the infection on to her baby. Testing is the first step in preventing HIV transmission. To help pregnant women find out their HIV status, Abbott donates rapid HIV tests free of charge to qualifying programs in 69 developing countries, including all of Africa. Rapid testing allows women to learn their status in 15 minutes and increases the opportunity to receive counseling after the test. Local programs can then offer HIV-positive mothers free and convenient therapy to prevent their child from being infected with HIV. Based on feedback from implementing partners, Abbott also has broadened the program to offer free rapid HIV testing to partners and children of women who test HIV positive.
To date, Abbott has donated more than eight million rapid HIV tests to prevention programs throughout the developing world.
Supporting Children Affected by HIV/AIDS
Abbott Fund is working to both advance the treatment of children with HIV, and improve the lives of orphans and vulnerable children affected by HIV/AIDS in developing countries. The Abbott Fund's approach is to support innovative model programs, drive results and share updates on progress and lessons learned. We hope these results will encourage replication and adaptation of successful models by the international community. Since 2001, more than 1 million children and families impacted by AIDS have received services through Abbott Fund programs.
Strengthening Health Care Systems
Like many countries in Africa, Tanzania faces a significant HIV/AIDS epidemic. In 2002, the Abbott Fund and the Government of Tanzania formed a unique public-private partnership, implementing one of the most comprehensive initiatives in Africa to strengthen a country’s health care system to meet the needs of people with HIV and other lifelong diseases. At the country's leading reference hospital, Muhimbili National Hospital, the Abbott Fund built a new outpatient center, clinical laboratory, and a modern, Emergency Medicine Department Center of Excellence.
The partnership has expanded testing and treatment at more than 90 health centers throughout Tanzania, bringing HIV services into some remote regions for the first time. In 2007, nearly one in three people on HIV treatment in Tanzania was receiving care at facilities that benefited from Abbott Fund support. To help provide the ongoing monitoring needed for these patients and others with chronic conditions, the Abbott Fund is currently modernizing or constructing laboratories at all 23 regional-level hospitals across the country. The $10 million project is scheduled for completion by 2010.
Expanding Access to Testing and Treatment
As part of the company's efforts to fight HIV/AIDS in the developing world, Abbott has made rapid HIV tests and its HIV medicines broadly available at significantly reduced prices or at no profit in the developing world.