WHO Needs $9B To Treat Three Million HIV-Positive Individuals With Antiretroviral Drugs by 2005
The World Health Organization will need up to $9 billion to treat three million HIV-positive individuals in developing countries with antiretroviral drugs by 2005, Paulo Teixeira, director of HIV/AIDS at WHO, said on Thursday, Reuters reports (Reuters, 11/6). WHO Director-General Dr. Jong-Wook Lee on Sept. 22 during a U.N. General Assembly special session on HIV/AIDS in New York City announced WHO's commitment to the "three-by-five" plan and declared the lack of access to antiretroviral drugs a global health emergency. The new strategy will use rapid response techniques to deliver antiretroviral treatment and will provide emergency response teams to governments requesting assistance in expediting drug delivery (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 10/27). The campaign will be launched on World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, 2003, in Nairobi, Kenya. According to Teixeira, only 5%, or 300,000, HIV-positive individuals who need antiretroviral drugs currently have access to them. "We are already late," Teixeira said, adding, "We cannot go on waiting for social and economic change in developing countries to tackle this problem." He added, "Our eventual aim is that some day there will be free and universal access to [antiretrovirals] for everyone suffering from HIV and AIDS." The entire campaign will need between $7 billion and $9 billion to accomplish its goal, and WHO will need an additional $200 million in 2004 and 2005 to support its part in the program, according to Teixeira. The reaction from donor countries has been "positive" and there are "signs" that countries will offer support, Teixeira said (Reuters, 11/6).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.