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June 2010
Global ID
Preparing for the Future of Global HIV/AIDS Funding

The world spent about $13 billion last year to fight HIV/AIDS. Will this level of funding continue? If not, how will African countries hardest hit by the pandemic cope? Several speakers discussed these issues during a recent session at the Global Health Council’s annual conference in Washington, D.C.

Two African leaders in the field—David Apuuli, MD, director general of the Uganda AIDS Commission, and Benson Chirwa, MD, director general of the National AIDS Council in Zambia—expressed concern about whether international funding would last, potentially leaving their countries with a growing number of people receiving treatment but little resources to pay for them.

“I think we are heading for a crisis,’’ Dr. Apuuli said. “Not only my country, but neighboring countries, Kenya and Tanzania, as the amount of money flattens and the numbers of those who need treatment rise. The money required for those who need it is way beyond the budgets in these countries.’’

Economist Robert Hecht, managing director at Results for Development Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based group of development experts, predicted that the need for AIDS funding in 20 years would rise well above current levels, ranging from $19 billion to $35 billion a year.  The number of new infections could be cut substantially, but none of the scenarios developed by the group shows the world getting new infections below 1.2 million a year.  Donors and recipients need to engage in serious discussions now about the response to HIV/AIDS and what portion of the burden each will assume. These discussions are well under way, Paul Bouey, U.S. deputy global AIDS coordinator, told the audience.

Tough choices lay ahead, as worries grow among countries receiving international funding about future funding levels, several speakers noted. But Hecht said his research showed that a better-targeted prevention effort could substantially reduce the resource need.  Read more about the session and other global health news at the Center for Global Health Policy’s blog, www.sciencespeaks.wordpress.com.

Recent blog highlights include:

  • A summary of a recent panel discussion on the linkages between gender, AIDS, and development—and implications for U.S. policy—organized by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Panelists discussed the disproportionate impact HIV/AIDS has on women and girls around the world and the need to place female health at the forefront of the nation’s global health efforts.

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