Doctors Without Borders is warning that cutbacks in HIV funding will reverse recent progress against the epidemic and lead to millions of premature deaths.
"Donors have started to shift their support away from HIV/AIDS, and funding is not keeping up with the need," DWB stated in a report released ahead of the 18th International AIDS Conference.
DWB documents how donor organizations have stabilized or reduced their funding for HIV treatment, sometimes in response to challenges in raising funds for the epidemic. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria has set a goal of collecting $20 billion over the next three years, but so far has garnered only a few hundred million, report author Mit Philips said.
"It is a very frustrating feeling to see that in spite of the achievements that have been made, the international donors, for the moment, show less interest and less resolve to continue to support the fight against HIV/AIDS," Philips said.
Approximately 3 million people in Africa have access to antiretroviral therapy, with another 6 million in need, according to DWB. Reducing funding now will exacerbate the demand for the drugs, the organization said.
A cutback in funding also will affect the attitude of the intended recipients of HIV education and care. If services are not available at the time people seek them, patients are less likely to return and try again later, the report said.
Philips noted that widespread treatment of HIV not only sustains the lives of those who are HIV-positive, but also reduces the number of new cases of HIV and TB in the community.
The full report can be found at www.doctorswithoutborders.org/publications/reports/2010/MSF%2010%20Consequences%20Report.pdf.
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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.
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