Asia-Pacific Economies Need $5.1B Annually To Fight HIV/AIDS, U.N. Report Says
East Asian and Pacific economies will need $5.1 billion annually by 2007 to fund a "comprehensive response" to the region's HIV/AIDS epidemic, according to a report released on Wednesday by the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, BusinessWorld reports. According to the U.N. agency, under current funding estimates, $1.6 billion -- which would come from bilateral donors, foundations and international institutions, including the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria -- will be available in 2007. "To close the resource gap, significantly increased international assistance would be needed, particularly for the lower-income and the least developed countries," the report said, adding, "At the same time, domestic resources would have to be bolstered." According to the report, Asia-Pacific governments should develop a "pro-poor" regional agreement. This agreement should provide antiretroviral drugs, treatment of opportunistic and sexually transmitted infections, clean needles and "substitution drugs" to "marginalized and vulnerable populations" at affordable costs, according to the report. Countries in the region also should consider funding methods, such as taxes on tobacco and alcohol, to support programs that would curb the pandemic, promote skill-based education on how to make responsible health decisions, and focus on young people, who are "hardest hit" by HIV/AIDS, the report says (BusinessWorld, 6/30).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.