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April 26, 2010

Study: Cutting Global AIDS Funding Could Make HIV a “Death Sentence”

HIV-positive people in the developing world are being turned away from treatment programs as stocks of HIV medications are running out due to budget cuts and flatlined funding from donors such as the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, according to a new study by the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC) as reported by Reuters.

“Governments, North and South, cannot afford to put the clock back and return us to the days when HIV was a death sentence,” said Aditi Sharma, coordinator of the report, titled Rationing Funds, Risking Lives. The report also notes that the Global Fund would need $20 billion over the next three years to meet the United Nations’ health-related Millennium Development Goals. However, Group of Eight (G8) nations and other donors have said that they might have difficulty raising even $13 billion.

“If this trend continues, the result will be suffering and death for millions of people around the world currently living with HIV and the millions more who will be newly infected this year and the years to come,” said the report.

The report, which examines HIV/AIDS in India, Kenya, Latvia, Malawi, Swaziland and Venezuela, also accuses U.S. President Barack Obama of using the global economic crisis to justify flatlined funding for PEPFAR as opposed to offer year-on-year increases as in previous years.

Search: Global Fund, PEPFAR, Obama, G8, International Treatment Preparedness Coalition, India, Kenya, Latvia, Malawi, Swaziland, Venezuela

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