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HIV/AIDS: Punishing Success?
Early Signs of a Retreat from Commitment to HIV/AIDS Care and Treatment
November 5, 2009
South Africa 2003 © Francesco Zizola / Noor
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Over the past decade, enormous resources have been mobilized globally to address the HIV/AIDS crisis on a large scale. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has seen first-hand the achievements, as well as some of the
Today, the good news is that four million HIV-positive people are alive on antiretroviral therapy (ART). The bad news is that MSF teams working to treat HIV/AIDS are witnessing worrying signs of waning international support to combat HIV/AIDS. In some high-burden countries, patients are being turned away from clinics, and clinicians are once again being forced into the unacceptable position of rationing life-saving treatment. At the same time, more robust and better-tolerated treatments–widely prescribed in wealthy countries–are not reaching patients.
There are signs of a decreasing political commitment to HIV/AIDS, the loudest being a major funding deficit. Critical funding from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) are in peril.
Meanwhile, a dangerous trend is under way in the global health policy arena. There
This killer disease is an ongoing emergency that requires dedicated resources at the national and international levels. A strengthened commitment to other global health priorities must happen–but it must happen in addition to, not instead of, a continued and increasing commitment to HIV/AIDS.