The Argentina World Cup match is on in Café Haiti, a gathering spot by Miraflores Park in Lima, Peru. Painters line up their works for sale on the sidewalk. Hundreds of teens occupy the street in some skateboarding analogue to Critical Mass.
I am awaiting a colleague, a dedicated steward of the public interest. There is an AIDS drug monopolized here at about twenty times the price Peru could otherwise pay. If the government will stand up, Peru will save money and lives.
I study the relevant laws. We take meetings in the Congress and Ministry of Health, and put on a public forum for the key agencies, foundations, press and industry. Several Peruvian colleagues and I have been working together on issues like this for a few years now. We are getting very good at it.
Javier Llamoza is a 42-year old analyst with Health Action International. He is an unassuming, even quiet, family man. He holds no rank nor belongs to any elite part of Peruvian society. But his knowledge is broad and deep, his commitment equally so, and he makes a persuasive case to any public office that will listen.
This is why I do this work. It is in part to improve the conditions of people’s lives. It is also to support and know talented individuals working for their communities, often enduring controversy for it.
Javi and I have a drink at the classic old bar of the Hotel Maury, birthplace of the pisco sour. We have quite a bit of work ahead in coming months. It will be worthwhile.
Learn more about our access to medicines program.