Wall Street Journal Examines Efforts of Wealthy Nations, Global Fund in Fight Against AIDS
The Wall Street Journal on Thursday examined how "major global programs" to fight HIV/AIDS -- including the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and initiatives from the governments of wealthy countries -- are "falling short" in their commitment to bring drugs to "millions" of people living with HIV/AIDS in developing countries. According to the World Health Organization, more than 93% of the six million people living with AIDS in developing countries who need drugs are not receiving them. The United States' President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief is "close to" meeting its funding commitment, but "far from" meeting its goal to treat two million people with antiretroviral drugs by 2008, according to the Journal. Ambassador Randall Tobias, head of the State Department Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator, said that the U.S. plan is "off to a 'fast start,'" according to the Journal. He added, "I think we're building some momentum, and I'm very confident." Many wealthy nations, including the United States and some European countries, are contributing less to the global HIV/AIDS fight than they were four years ago because the fight against terrorism has replaced HIV/AIDS as the "compelling global issue of the day," the Journal reports. In addition, the Global Fund -- which was intended to be a $10 billion-a-year project -- will "likely peak" at about $3 billion per year in 2008, according to the Journal. Although the fund has made "extremely rapid progress in the right direction, [o]n the other hand, it's nothing like enough," Global Fund Executive Director Richard Feachem said (Lueck et al., Wall Street Journal, 7/1).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.