New Group of Economists, Scientists, Lawmakers To Study Economic Impact of HIV/AIDS in Asia-Pacific Region
A new, UNAIDS-supported independent group called the Commission of AIDS on Asia and the Pacific was launched on Saturday with the aim of studying the spread of HIV/AIDS and its economic impact in the region, the commission's chair Chakravarthi Rangarajan said, the AP/Santa Fe New Mexican reports. According to Rangarajan, who heads Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's Economic Advisory Council, the commission consists of 10 leading policymakers, scientists and economists across the region and will focus on researching the socioeconomic situations of HIV-positive people in the region, as well as the epidemic's effect on economic productivity (AP/Santa Fe New Mexican, 7/15). "The goal of this commission is to generate adequate information to show to leaders and governments in the region the urgent necessity to invest in (efforts to combat) AIDS if they are to maintain their achievements in development," Rangarajan said (PTI/NDTV.com, 7/15). He said that the commission will attempt to "fill" gaps in data coming from national governments and organizations. The commission -- which will initially receive logistical support from UNAIDS -- is expected to release its first report by December 2007. According to UNAIDS estimates, 8.3 million HIV-positive people were living in the Asia-Pacific region at the end of 2005 (AP/Santa Fe New Mexican, 7/15).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.