G8 Gets Plaudits in Push to Help Africa's AIDS Crisis
July 11, 2005
Leaders of the Group of Eight nations declared Friday they will work toward the goal of an "AIDS-free generation" in Africa. Working with UN health agencies and African governments, G8 leaders pledged to "develop and implement a package for HIV prevention, treatment, and care, with the aim of as close as possible to universal access to treatment for all in need of it by 2010." They promised to work "to ensure that all children left orphaned or vulnerable by AIDS and other pandemics are given proper support" and to "work to meet the financing needs for HIV/AIDS, including through the replenishment this year of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria."
Of the 25.4 million HIV/AIDS patients in sub-Saharan Africa, only 500,000 needy patients are receiving treatments, according to World Health Organization figures released June 29.
AIDS activists cautiously praised the summit's pledge. The group Make Poverty History said G8 leaders "have started to restore hope to the 40 million people currently living -- and dying -- with HIV." However, it said it will closely monitor donors to see whether they replenish the Global Fund's money at a conference in London in September.
Simon Wright of the British nongovernmental organization Action AID said he is "quite pleased" with the promise of helping to get universal access to treatment. "The question is delivering on the promise," Wright said.
In southern African countries with rampant HIV/AIDS, the life expectancy of someone born between 1995-2000 is 49. Without HIV/AIDS, it would have been 62. Last year, 2.3 million Africans died of HIV/AIDS.
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.