News / Africa

    AIDS: Will Funding Levels Limit Treatment?

    Multimedia

    Audio
    Joe DeCapua

    Next week, donor nations will announce how much money they’ll pledge to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.  Activists and NGOs say $20 billion is needed to replenish the fund and expand its grant programs.  But many believe it’s unlikely donors will pledge that amount.

    What’s at stake

    “We’re kind of at a crucial moment in terms of the fight against HIV,” says Jen Cohn, HIV policy adviser for the medical aid group Doctors Without Borders.

    “There’s been a lot of new research that has shown that treatment for HIV can not only vastly improve the lives and decrease morbidity and mortality for those with HIV, but it can actually also have population effects in that it prevents transmission of HIV from one person to another.”

    About a year ago, the World Health Organization issued new guidelines saying it would be better to treat HIV-infected patients much earlier.  In other words, put them on anti-retroviral drugs long before their immune systems collapse due to a lack of CD-4 cells.  Studies show earlier treatment does a better job of extending lives, as well as improving the quality of life.

    The WHO guidelines also recommend the use of less toxic but very effective drugs to keep the virus in check.

    “However, doing this means that more people will be on treatment.  And the newer treatments, while they’re much better tolerated…are somewhat more expensive,” she says.

    $20 billion – how likely?

    As for next week’s donations, Cohn says, “We continue to be hopeful that the donor nations will realize the importance of this current round of grants and the future rounds of grants that the global fund will be giving in order to reach goals like universal access and use treatment as prevention.”

    But being hopeful is far from being certain.

    “I am very concerned that donations from wealthy countries to the Global Fund will not even reach a level of $13 billion that the Global Fund says it needs to basically just keep its doors open and continue existing grants, without significantly scaling up or being able to fund new, more ambitious grants,” says Cohn.

    G8 nations

    The Doctors Without Borders HIV policy adviser says, “Countries such as France and Japan have actually announced their donations.  Their donations are a modest increase from previous years.”

    Tuesday was the Global Day of Action for activists, NGOs and others to call attention to the funding issue.  In South Africa, for example, demonstrations were held at the German and Italian embassies.  Germany and Italy have not officially announced their latest global fund donations.

    “But we suspect they’re going to be drastically decreasing their donations from previous years.  And in fact there has been a preliminary announcement that Germany may give just $200 million in FY11 (fiscal year 2011) but then not actually contribute anything in fiscal years ’12 and ’13,” she says.

    Germany is the third largest donor to the Global Fund after the U.S. and France.

    “Italy has not yet paid its promise from last year,” says Cohn.  “And we don’t expect them to put in a significant or any contribution for this current replenishment.”

    She calls funding from the United States “crucial,” adding, “The U.S. really needs to set the tone and lead the way with a bold contribution.”

    You May Like

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.