U.N. Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa Launches Stop AIDS Project Calling on U.K. Government To Increase AIDS Funding
U.N. Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa Stephen Lewis on Tuesday in London launched a Stop AIDS Campaign project to urge British Prime Minister Tony Blair to use the United Kingdom's upcoming presidency of the Group of Eight to lobby for increased funding to combat HIV/AIDS in Africa, BBC News reports. Lewis said that a lack of resources "threatens" the World Health Organization's 3 by 5 Initiative (BBC News, 10/26). The initiative aims to treat three million HIV-positive people with antiretroviral drugs by 2005 (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 9/10). "The international community has been focusing on prevention for years," Lewis said, adding, "What we have not done yet is provide treatment, give people hope and encourage them to get tested. This is what generates a sense of prevention. The two go together inseparably." Lewis said that although there is a "real momentum" to provide antiretroviral drug treatment to HIV-positive people in Africa, there is a "lack of money," according to BBC News. "If they can maintain the resources, then these countries are going to break through and the whole world will finally have a sense that we can turn this pandemic around," Lewis said (BBC News, 10/26). He added, "If Tony Blair wants to turn the G8 on its head, he can do so. It didn't happen in Canada. It didn't happen in Japan. It can presumably happen in the U.K." (Woodcock, Scotsman, 10/26). The G8 includes the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Canada and Russia (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 10/20).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.