Australia: Do More in Area to Stop HIV/AIDS, Government Told
December 10, 2008
With new cases climbing, Australia's earlier investments in HIV prevention could go to waste unless the government steps up prevention funding, AIDS advocates say.
New South Wales is "effectively the only state that sustained a strong, well-invested HIV program and it's the only state in Australia that's maintained the lower rates of HIV infection," said AFAO President Graham Brown. In Victoria, "probably the state that withdrew funds, over that period of 10 years, the most their infection rate went up over 100 percent," he noted. Victoria's recent reinvestment in prevention and its stabilization of infection rates both need to be replicated federally, he said.
AFAO also called on Australia to counter severe epidemics in the Pacific region. Indonesia has among the fastest growing epidemics in the area, and infections in Papua New Guinea rose from 10,000 total in 2001 to 54,000 in 2007.
Inter Press Service
11.28.2008; Stephen De Tarczynski