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This Article examines the major social, political, economic, and ethical issues involved in the global HIV pandemic. First, it examines the steps needed to prevent and treat HIV effectively and examines why many leaders have not responded more forcefully. This Part discusses the intangible, but crucial, aspect of political will. Second, this Article looks at the divisive issue of drugs, patents, and international trade law. Highly developed countries usually want to uphold the patent system to protect the proprietary interests of drug companies, which keeps the price of HIV/AIDS drugs high, placing them out of the reach of resource-poor countries. Finally, this Article examines the vexing issue of research ethics. The research community has struggled with one overriding question in international collaborative investigations: Should the ethical standards held in developed countries apply when engaging in research in less developed countries? Stakeholders are at odds and struggle to find the balance between ensuring strong ethical standards and expediting access to cost-effective treatments in poor countries.

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17 Emory Int'l L. Rev. 1-54 (2003)