"Despite a more than 53-fold increase in AIDS funding in barely over a decade, the epidemic continues to outpace the rate at which programs are delivering," according to a new UNAIDS-commissioned report.
Published as a book, AIDS: Taking a Long-Term View was presented Thursday in Johannesburg at the office of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. The former South African president publicly acknowledged in 2005 that AIDS killed his son, and he has campaigned to raise AIDS awareness in the country.
Collectively known as the aids2031 Consortium, the report's two-dozen authors were asked to review progress on how the world has tackled HIV/AIDS. They were then to determine changes needed to radically reduce the number of infections and deaths by 2031 -- 50 years since the AIDS virus was first reported.
According to the researchers, scarce resources are being misspent, while laws making homosexual sex illegal and the harassment of intravenous drug users are preventing the most vulnerable from seeking help. In the wake of a worldwide recession and donor fatigue hurting spending on AIDS, the authors said it is "fair to ask whether the AIDS effort has always achieved good value for its money."
The consortium called for a new focus on prevention and criticized governments for ignoring research with implementable findings. They noted the more than 7,000 daily HIV infections worldwide are roughly double the number of new patients accessing treatment in poor countries, making lifetime treatment for millions of HIV-infected people in poor countries unsustainable. When South African Health Minister Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi took over in 2009, he cut drug costs by more than half by asking more companies to bid for the government's antiretroviral program and demanding they provide cost breakdowns.
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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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