Australia: Despite Progress, World Still Failing HIV Carriers, Says AIDS Chief
July 23, 2007
Preventable worldwide HIV/AIDS deaths in the millions are the result of a "shameful failure" of the global community to do all it could to combat the disease, the head of the International AIDS Society said Sunday ahead of the 4th IAS Conference in Sydney.
Each day, 11,000 more people contract HIV, despite scientific and treatment gains being made, said Pedro Cahn, IAS president. Less than one-third of patients in low- and middle-income countries are receiving treatment, and even fewer can access prevention methods such as condoms or clean needles, said Cahn.
"Science has given us the tools to prevent and treat HIV effectively," said Cahn. "The fact that we have not yet translated this science into practice is a shameful failure on the part of the global community," he said.
Cahn emphasized the IAS Sydney Declaration's call for 10 percent of HIV program funding to target research. "We are badly is need of research that will tell us what impact our programs are having in the areas of the world where 90 percent of the epidemic is focused, and how to adjust our programs to make the best use of our investment and to save as much lives as possible," he said.
Despite the development of extraordinarily powerful HIV treatments, "only about 28 percent of the people who actually need therapy" receive it, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. With such a large HIV drugs access gap, prevention strategies such as male circumcision are essential, he said.
Agence France Presse
7.22.2007; Madeleine Coorey
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.