A new study examines whether HIV/AIDS should still be considered a global crisis in the age of antiretroviral medications, IRIN/PlusNews reports (plusnews.org, 7/18). Published in the June 2008 issue of Population and Development Review, the study asserts that HIV incidence worldwide has peaked.

According to lead author John Bongaarts, the study—called “Has the HIV Epidemic Peaked?”—shows that although HIV/AIDS constitutes just 5 percent of disease prevalence in low- and middle-income countries, the epidemic receives about a quarter of global health aid. According to the article, Bongaarts says that HIV/AIDS funding would be better spent on inexpensive interventions to fight other diseases with immunizations, mosquito nets and family planning.

“AIDS should now be treated like any other disease, and the world community should look at its investments in health and prepare the most cost-effective interventions,” said Bongaarts. “I'm not advocating less money for AIDS treatment, but I want more spent on AIDS prevention and other diseases. We can save lives for a few dollars.”