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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid