Global Fund to Fight AIDS Board Meets in New York City, Expected to Announce Grant Awards Tomorrow
The board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is meeting today at Columbia University to determine how to allocate the approximately $700 million received so far by the fund, Newsday reports. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who urged the creation of the fund last year, has called for $7 billion to $10 billion annually to fight HIV/AIDS worldwide, and developing nations have to date applied for grants that total approximately $5 billion. The United States has pledged $250 million to the fund for this year, and Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) have asked President Bush to add $700 million to his emergency spending plan to contribute to the fund. In addition, Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.), who is sponsoring a bill asking for $500 million to pay for drugs to reduce vertical HIV transmission in developing nations, is being urged by AIDS advocates and other lawmakers to direct that money to the global fund if the bill passes. Several U.N. agencies and humanitarian organizations have released statements asking that all or the majority of the global fund's resources be spent on subsidizing the cost of antiretroviral drugs for developing nations. The World Health Organization announced yesterday in Geneva that it is recommending 12 antiretroviral drugs for HIV treatment in its Model List of Essential Medicines (see story 4). "Our goal is that 50% of all those with HIV can be reached with antiretrovirals within the next three to four years," Dr. Bernard Schwartlander, head of epidemiology at UNAIDS, said (Garrett, Newsday, 4/23). The board is expected to announce recipients of the funding tomorrow (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 3/26).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.