U.N. Officials Urge Australia to ‘Take a Lead’ in Halting Spread of HIV/AIDS in Asia, South Pacific
The United Nations has encouraged Australia to "take a lead" in stemming the spread of HIV/AIDS in the Asia-South Pacific region, the Canberra Times reports. With Asia experiencing a rate of HIV transmission "far higher than any other part of the world" -- including Africa -- some U.N. officials have implored the country to "play a leading role in pushing for efforts to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS" in the region. Mehr Khan, director of the East Asia and Pacific chapter of UNICEF, said that the spread of HIV in Asia and the Pacific is of "mounting concern" and will "certainly be high on the agenda" of the U.N. Special Session on Children to be held in New York this September. Khan said that health officials "simply do not know what is going on" in some Asian countries regarding HIV/AIDS. She added that funding to stop the spread of the virus has been slow in coming. "We have budgeted that we need $10 million a year for the next five years to combat HIV/AIDS in our region, but so far we have raised just $20 million for the whole period," she said (Cooke, Canberra Times, 7/31).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.