Earlier this year, the World Health Organization announced it would not meet its target in the “Three by Five” program. That program attempted to get three million people infected with the AIDS virus on anti-retroviral drugs by the end of 2005.
Now, a new report, written by a coalition of 600 AIDS activists, cities reasons why the “Three by Five” program fell short. The report is called: Missing the Target – a report on HIV/AIDS Treatment Access from the Front Lines.”
Chris Collins is a spokesman for the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition. He spoke at an international teleconference. He said, “This report comes out as the World Health Organization’s Three by Five target comes to a close, having fallen over a million people short of the target. And as you know, earlier this year the G8 set a new, even more ambitious, target of getting as close as possible to universal access to AIDS treatment in just another five years. The report we’re discussing today shows that there are many examples of national governments and international organizations making important strides in treatment delivery over the last couple years. But the report also demonstrates that without on the national and multi-lateral level, the new G8 goal will be nothing but a hollow promise. This report is not on look-back on Three by Five, however. It’s about looking forward to achieve greater treatment access."
The report blames bureaucracy, stigma, poor management and inadequate funding for the failure to reach the target goal. Mr. Collins also warns that the 2010 treatment goals, announced at last June’s G8 summit, will not be met without critical changes. Mr. Collins said, “Each country chapter identifies barriers to scale-up and provides substantive, productive recommendations for improvement. National leadership of course is absolutely crucial to the scale-up of AIDS treatment. But agencies on the multi-lateral level, including UNAIDS, WHO, the Global Fund, PEPFAR and others, are essential to the success as well. We’ve identified strengths and weaknesses in the response of international organizations and made recommendations for them.”
The report from AIDS activists recommends greater cooperation among United Nations agencies -- an honest assessment by national governments of the problems in treating AIDS patients – and a concerted level at every segment of society to end stigma. The report has been released prior to Thursday’s World AIDS Day.