Majority of Nations Recognize HIV/AIDS as Security Issue, UNAIDS Director Piot Says at Brown University Forum
A majority of nations have come to recognize HIV/AIDS as a medical problem among marginalized populations and a security issue, as the disease continues to destroy populations, damage economies and destabilize nations, UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot said on Friday at a Brown University symposium on HIV/AIDS, the Providence Journal reports. As a result, the HIV/AIDS epidemic is "finally on the political agenda of almost every country," which has led to an increase in resources to fight the disease, Piot said, adding, "It's become clear to me that this is a problem with a solution, that this is something that can be stopped, that it's not hopeless" (Freyer, Providence Journal, 4/24). Funding for HIV/AIDS in developing countries increased to $4.7 billion last year from $200 million seven years ago. However, the current funding levels represent less than half of the $10 billion the United Nations estimates is needed, and the world is "still in the early phases of the epidemic," Piot said (AP/Providence Journal, 4/24). U.N. Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa Stephen Lewis, William J. Clinton Presidential Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative Chair Ira Magaziner and Dr. Suniti Solomon, who diagnosed the first case of HIV in India in 1986, also spoke at the symposium, which concluded on Sunday (Providence Journal, 4/24). Magaziner was scheduled to give Saturday's keynote address on the Clinton Foundation's efforts to make "systematic changes to improve [the] health care infrastructure" of developing countries and use a "comprehensive approach" to HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, according to the AP/Providence Journal (AP/Providence Journal, 4/24).
A kaisernetwork.org HealthCast of the forum will be available online after 5 p.m. ET on Tuesday.