Global Commitments To Fight AIDS Fall Short of Goals, International Monetary Fund Says
Global commitments to fight HIV/AIDS are falling short of the amount needed to meet the World Bank's goal of reversing the virus' spread by 2015, according to the International Monetary Fund, Reuters reports (Wilkinson, Reuters, 4/13). In 2001, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that between $7 billion to $10 billion per year would be needed to fight HIV/AIDS and called on international donors to contribute to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 5/1/01). However, the IMF and World Bank in a joint report issued yesterday said that "global commitments to date have not kept pace with rising demands," according to Reuters. The report says that there needs to be "significant changes" in the way HIV/AIDS is addressed in order to meet the Millenium Development Goal. In 2002, an estimated $3.2 billion was needed from international donors to battle the disease, but contributors missed that goal by about $2 billion, according to Reuters. Fighting HIV/AIDS will also require more than monetary donations, according to the IMF and World Bank report. Resources and stakeholders must be mobilized from "the village to the national level" to provide antiretroviral drugs and HIV/AIDS education. "Effective prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS requires educating and promoting behavior change among population groups that are normally far beyond the reach of government and mainstream NGO (non-governmental organization) programs," the report states. The spread of the virus has harmed the economies of many developing countries, draining them of workers and depressing their agricultural and industrial sectors, as well as hurting education, according to the IMF. The disease, which is estimated to have killed 60 million people since the beginning of the epidemic more than 20 years ago, is spreading most rapidly in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, with the number of infected individuals in Russia "skyrocket[ing]" from 11,000 in 1998 to 200,000 in 2002, according to Reuters (Reuters, 4/13).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.