News / Health

Medical Group: Donor Cuts Hurt Fight Against AIDS

An international medical aid group says donors around the world are cutting back on AIDS funding, hurting the fight against the epidemic.

Doctors Without Borders says major international donors including the United States, the World Bank, and the Global Fund have decided to cap or cut spending.

The group says the moves risk undermining years of positive achievement in battling AIDS and will cause many more unnecessary deaths.

The report, released Thursday, is based on data collected from eight sub-Saharan African countries.

Doctors Without Borders says the cuts are already affecting places like South Africa, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In Congo, it says, the number of new patients able to start life-saving antiretroviral treatment has dropped dramatically.

The group says because the treatment for AIDS is lifelong, fighting the disease requires stable commitments and sustainable funding from donors.

It says donors are citing the global recession as a reason for cutbacks.

The group says in the United States, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS relief has reduced its budget for the purchase of antiretrovirals in 2009 and 2010, and also introduced a freeze on its overall HIV/AIDS budget.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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