How to treat 3 million PWAs in the developing world by 2005? The World Health Organization’s “3 x 5” plan relies on low-cost generic HAART, its own SARS-style emergency teams and huge public-private partnerships. The hitch: There’s far too little cash in the global coffers to reach the WHO’s goal. Let’s look at the four major players in the 3 x 5 plan—and who’s zooming who.

The Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has committed $2.6 billion to dozens of countries’ AIDS programs.

  • Outlook: Global Fund seed grants buy lifesaving meds for tens of thousands of PWAs, mostly in hardest-hit southern Africa. The 2-year-old Fund offers an easily monitored, democratic oversight process.
  • Look again: It’s nearly broke. “Because of constant underfunding by wealthy governments, the Global Fund is not the ‘war chest’ that was promised,” said Sharonann Lynch of the Health GAP Coalition.

The Presidential emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, established in January 2003, hopes to aid 14 Caribbean and African nations and give the Global Fund $1 billion.

  • Outlook: By 2008, Bush’s $15 billion, five-year plan aims to prevent 7 million new HIV cases, offer HAART to 2 million people and care for 10 million—supporting orphans, too.
  • Look again: “A single dollar has yet to be disbursed,” Lynch said. Bush wants only $2.5 billion for 2005, favors abstinence-only prevention and has put USAID and the State Department—a political body—in charge, undermining the multilateral Global Fund.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the AIDS philanthropy leader.

  • Outlook: Gates propels vaccine and microbicide research and backs prevention in India, a pilot HIV-meds program in Botswana and the WHO’s new HIV diagnostic facility.
  • Look again: Gates funds little treatment.

The Clinton Foundation helps nations draft complete AIDS plans and secure funding and generics; it hopes to give HAART to 2 million.