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Writing checks that bounce: World continues to backtrack on HIV treatment
Date:7/20/2010

Vienna Activists at the International AIDS Conference in Vienna are charging developed and developing country governments with writing checques that bounce to the millions of people in need of lifesaving HIV treatment. Despite the gains in treatment numbers reported by WHO, the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition's (ITPC), latest report, Rationing Funds, Risking Lives, documents early warnings of the global pullback on AIDS commitment and funding: caps on the number of people enrolled on treatment, more frequent drug stock-outs, and national AIDS budgets falling short.

"AIDS is not over. ITPC's report clearly shows that the response is being starved, not over- funded. Governments, North and South, cannot afford to put the clock back and return us to the days when HIV was a death sentence," said Aditi Sharma of ITPC, coordinator of the report.

About Rationing Funds, Risking Lives

Our six-country research shows that programs that have achieved hard-won successes against AIDS are now being starved of financial supportwhich dooms the goals of achieving universal access to HIV treatment, prevention and care, meeting the MDGs by 2015, and building stronger health systems.

In several countries, the financial sustainability of currently inadequate AIDS treatment programs is in question. PLHIV are struggling to cover the many uncovered costs of OI medications, medical consultations, transport costs, food, and second-line medications, while laws to protect vulnerable and marginalized groups like MSM and sex workers are still lacking, PLHIV encounter discrimination in health care settings, and countries continue to give confusing advice about infant feeding and use single-dose nevirapine to prevent vertical transmission of HIV contrary to WHO guidelines.

If this trend continues, the result will be suffering and death for millions of people around the world currently living with HIV and the millions more who
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Contact: Kay Marshall
kaymarshall@mac.com
347-249-6375
International Treatment Preparedness Group
Source:Eurekalert

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