UNAIDS Urges Donors To Quadruple Global Spending on HIV/AIDS To Meet Goal of Providing Universal Access to Antiretrovirals by 2010UNAIDS on Tuesday called for international donors to quadruple global spending on HIV/AIDS to meet the United Nations' goal of providing universal access to antiretroviral drugs by 2010, the Washington Post reports (Timberg, Washington Post, 9/26). The plan calls for about $42 billion annually by 2010, according to the San Francisco Chronicle (Russell, San Francisco Chronicle, 9/26).
According to UNAIDS officials, under current spending levels, which total about $10 billion annually, two out of three adults in need of antiretrovirals will not have access to them by 2010. According to a 36-page UNAIDS report released Wednesday, an increase in spending to $42 billion by 2010 would allow the implementation of new resources to fight HIV/AIDS, including 427,500 medical personnel and 1.5 million teachers. In addition, new prevention programs would distribute 10 billion condoms and provide 2.5 million circumcisions, the report said.
The extra resources would allow antiretroviral access to about four of every five people in need of the drugs, U.N. officials said. According to the report, universal access will be achieved when 82% of people in need of antiretrovirals have access to them (Washington Post, 9/26). The majority of the increased spending would be directed to sub-Saharan Africa, which carries 60% of the global HIV/AIDS burden, the Chronicle reports.
Under current trends, spending would increase to $15.4 billion by 2010 and would provide antiretrovirals to 4.6 million people, or about one-third of those in need, the Chronicle reports.
UNAIDS officials also provided an alternate, phased scale-up, scenario that calls for eight million people worldwide to have access to antiretrovirals by 2010 and for universal access by 2015, according to the Chronicle. Under the alternate scenario, which would cost about one-third less than the universal access scenario in 2010, global spending would need to triple to about $28.4 billion annually by 2010 and increase to about $50 billion annually by 2015.
Paul De Lay -- director of UNAIDS' evidence, monitoring and policy department -- said, "Even this secondary goal is very ambitious" (San Francisco Chronicle, 9/26). He added the alternate scenario "is what most countries are saying they can do" (Armitage, Reuters, 9/25).
According to the Chronicle, universal access by 2010 is an "unlikely outcome in a climate where the pace of international giving for AIDS treatments is showing signs of slackening." Michel Sidibe, deputy executive director of UNAIDS, said, "We are simply not spending enough, or doing enough" to fight HIV/AIDS.
Many HIV/AIDS advocates in the U.S. were "disappointed" when President Bush in May pledged an additional $600 million annually for the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief from fiscal year 2009 to FY 2013, the Chronicle reports (San Francisco Chronicle, 9/26). Bush in May called on Congress to double PEPFAR funding levels from its first five years to $30 billion from fiscal year 2009 to FY 2013 (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 9/24). Bush on Tuesday in a speech to the U.N. General Assembly in New York City said that PEPFAR is a "good start" in increasing access to antiretrovirals. The program has "helped bring cutting-edge medicines to more than a million people in sub-Saharan Africa," Bush said, adding, "By coming together, the world can turn the tide against HIV/AIDS once and for all" (AP/Google.com, 9/25).
Richard Feachem -- former executive director of the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria -- said that it would be a "huge leap" to meet the $42 billion spending goal to provide universal access in three years. He added that the alternate scenario recognizes that many developing countries do not have the infrastructure to handle the changes that would need to be implemented to provide universal access by 2010. The "fallback scenario falls short of universal access, but it would still be an enormous achievement," Feachem said (San Francisco Chronicle, 9/26).
The report is available online (.pdf).