African Countries’ Fight Against HIV/AIDS Impeded by G8’s Failure To Deliver Gleneagles Promises, U.N. Special Envoy Lewis Says
The Group of Eight industrialized nations has failed to fulfill commitments made at the 2005 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, regarding HIV/AIDS funding, U.N. Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa Stephen Lewis said recently, AFP/Yahoo! News reports. According to Lewis, "Everybody talks with a kind of self-satisfaction about the increases" in HIV/AIDS funding, but "in truth that's absolutely nothing to crow about." He added, "it should induce shock and anxiety," because UNAIDS and the World Health Organization "have shown that in 2006 we needed $15 billion, but we didn't get anywhere near it, in 2007 we need $18 billion, in 2008 $22 billion and in 2010 by any projection, $30 billion." According to Lewis, "things have really changed" in the past two to three years, and presidents, prime ministers and other governmental officials in Africa are "determined to overcome" the pandemic. In addition, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief has made a "pretty significant" contribution to the fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa and the Caribbean by providing antiretroviral drugs to hundreds of thousands of people living with HIV/AIDS. He added that the virus is "still outstripping our capacity to respond, which is a lamentable commentary on the international community." According to Lewis, "If the Western world were to deliver on its promises, we would have that money [to provide antiretrovirals], but they betray the promises the moment they're made" (Ingham, AFP/Yahoo! News, 12/9).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.