Advocates Urge G8 Leaders to Pledge More Money to International HIV/AIDS Efforts
In a letter to the editor of the London Independent on Saturday, five leaders of international HIV/AIDS advocacy groups urged G8 leaders to "make the [Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria] effective by pledging substantially more money." The letter is signed by Aditi Sharma, director of Action for Southern Africa; Annie Watson, director of the Commonwealth Trade Union Council; John Monks, general secretary of the U.K. Trades Union Congress; Zwelinzima Vavi, general secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions; and Zackie Achmat, chair of South Africa's Treatment Action Campaign. The authors state that the "international community has failed to deliver" in providing resources to fight the pandemic, noting that only $2 billion has been pledged to the fund so far, a sum "far short" of the estimated $7 billion to $10 billion needed annually to fight HIV/AIDS on an international scale. The fund should "target the areas with the highest burden of disease," they write, noting that the money allocated so far to southern Africa accounts for only 3% of the region's needed funds. They conclude that the fund should "prioritize treatment provision" in developing nations and "should encourage applicants to maximize the recent World Health Organization commitment to public health by buying medicines, including generic drugs, from the cheapest reliable sources" (Sharma et al., London Independent, 7/13).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.