Since human migrations began, germs have traveled with people, animals and traded goods. In an interconnected and mobile world, diseases such as HIV/AIDS and SARS can spread rapidly. Yet international cooperation through agencies such as the World Health Organization also allows for a collective response to global health threats and faster response times. Nations have developed diverse health care systems, aiming for cost-effective treatment. Yet the diverse systems contribute to disparities in global health, including availability of technology, pharmaceutical companies targeting innovations to maximize profits, and providers abandoning areas of need for higher salaries in the West, just to name a few.

International AIDS Conference: Prime Minister Heckled at Opening

Drugs, human rights, and AIDS converge in International AIDS conference in Thailand
Phermsak Lilakul
July 12, 2004

In Africa, an Exodus of Nurses

African nurses bound for developed countries leave their home countries' health care system in shambles
Celia W. Dugger
July 12, 2004

Retro-Virals: Major Pact for Cheap Drugs

New six-nation league will give its signatories access to generic, low-cost HIV/Aids medication
Arthit Khwankhom
July 14, 2004

China Seeks Low-Cost Drugs for AIDS Patients

Some major drug makers are cutting costs and moving production in-country
Jason Leow
June 30, 2004

Fake Medicine Lurks on Consumer Shelves

South Korea ramps up effort to stamp out counterfeit pharmaceuticals
Rambabu Garikipati
June 29, 2004