Funding for International HIV/AIDS Groups Expected To Increase To Match Treatment Capacity, NPR Reports
The "learning curve" to provide treatment to HIV/AIDS patients in developing countries has been "slow," but once health systems and workers are ready, funding to international HIV/AIDS organizations will "flow to meet the capacity," NPR's "Morning Edition" reports. According to Anil Soni, an adviser to Richard Feachem, the executive director of the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Global Fund had to "overcome one hurdle after another" -- such as developing its grant system -- "just to get going." Soni said, "Ultimately, that's not winning the war on AIDS. ... Winning the war on AIDS is going to be solved in the trenches, and that means getting money to people who need it. That's the hurdle we have to meet this year, and of course we will meet it" (Wilson, "Morning Edition," NPR, 3/5). Although the Global Fund has approved grants totaling more than $2 billion for programs in 121 countries, only $245 million has been transferred to local programs (Global Fund fact sheet, 2/10). Some health officials say that developing countries' infrastructures must be improved in order to absorb international funding to fight HIV/AIDS and to successfully deliver antiretroviral drugs to HIV-positive patients, NPR reports. Ambassador Randall Tobias, head of the new State Department Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator, said that government officials should understand that the fight against AIDS "has to be a work in progress." He added, "This is not a case where you can go out, figure out what the answers are, put them in a document and go forward, because there is so much to learn ... and bring together." The NPR segment also includes comments from Lynn Margherio of the William J. Clinton Presidential Foundation ("Morning Edition," NPR, 3/5).
The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.