AIDS Funds Fall Short of Target
The global war against AIDS seems to be faltering. Recently, the global fund to battle against malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS could not reach its lowest fund-raising aim of garnering $13 billion. This amount is required just to continue treatment of patients at current rates.
In the United Nations, 40 countries pledged to raise $11.7 billion. The global AIDS fund had hoped for $20 billion to battle the growing epidemic. The fund revealed that none of the current patients will suffer. But, it will have to lower future targets.
U.S. Pays for 50% of AIDS Patients
The global AIDS fund pays for the treatment of about three million patients. It aims to reach four million by the year 2013. It’s actual target is to treat more than five million patients. The global fund pays for the treatment of 50% of poor AIDS patients all over the world. The U.S. agency, The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (Pepfar), handles the treatment of the remaining half.
AIDS Patients May Suffer
There are about 33 million infected AIDS patients worldwide, This number is growing by about a million people each year. Out of this, about 14 million patients need immediate treatment through drugs. But, because of funds shortage, not all of them may get the required treatment.
U.S. Is the Highest Donor
The U.S. pledged to give $4 billion, which is about 40% more than its previous contribution. By far, the U.S. is the highest donor. Russia promised $60 million and China $14 million. Japan, Norway, Canada and France also considerably increased their contributions. But, Spain and Italy were not able to give anything. AIDS fund officials were frustrated with the final collection.
The fund had lobbed for $6 billion from the U.S. Since, this could not be achieved, other nations also took it easy and aimed low, says an AIDS advocacy group.
Health experts reveal that the fight against tuberculosis and malaria will also be affected. But, AIDS patients will suffer the most. Malaria incidence rises and lowers with local spraying and hot weather. Tuberculosis can be cured in about six months, thereby shrinking the number of patients rapidly. Thus, it is the war against AIDS which will suffer the most because of the lack of adequate funds.