Fight Against AIDS in Developing Countries Faces Multibillion-Dollar Shortfall; Total of $22B Needed in 2008, UNAIDS Says
Global funding to fight HIV/AIDS in developing countries faces a multibillion-dollar shortfall over the next three years, according to a UNAIDS report to be released at the end of this month, the AP/Las Vegas Sun reports. UNAIDS officials on Wednesday announced their projections that only $8.9 billion will be available in 2006, although $14.7 billion will be required, and only $10 billion will be available in 2007, despite the need for $17.8 billion that year. The officials did not provide projections on the likely amount of available funding in 2008, but UNAIDS estimates that nearly $22 billion will be needed that year (AP/Las Vegas Sun, 6/22). In 2004, funding from all sources totaled $6.1 billion, and about $8 billion is expected to be available this year (Reuters, 6/22). UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot said in a statement, "AIDS poses an exceptional threat to humanity, and the response needs to be equally exceptional, recognizing the urgency as well as the need for long-term planning and financing," adding, "We have come a long way in mobilizing extra funds for AIDS, moving from millions to billions, but we still fall short" (AFP/Yahoo! News, 6/22). If the funding necessary for 2006 through 2008 is provided, 75% of HIV-positive people in need of treatment would have access to antiretrovirals by 2008, more than 1,000 new health centers would be built by 2010, and 19,000 health centers and 800 hospitals could be renovated over the next three years. In addition, prevention efforts could be scaled up, support for AIDS orphans in sub-Saharan Africa could be improved and expanded, and the cost of efforts to recruit and train more physicians, nurses and health workers in low-income countries would be covered (UNAIDS release, 6/21). Roughly 38 million people worldwide -- 25 million of them in sub-Saharan Africa -- are living with HIV/AIDS. The World Health Organization estimates that only about 700,000 of the more than six million HIV-positive people who need antiretroviral treatment had access to antiretrovirals as of December 2004 (Reuters, 6/22).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.