May 14, 2003
According to the report, only 5 percent of high-risk pregnant women have access to drugs to protect their babies from HIV; only 12 percent of high-risk people have access to counseling and testing; and only 42 percent can get condoms.
UNAIDS estimates that $1.9 billion was spent on AIDS prevention in 2002 and says that $5.7 billion will be needed annually by 2005, and $6.6 billion will be needed annually by 2007.
Congress is considering a bill to spend $15 billion on AIDS over five years, but only 20 percent is allocated to prevention because of political differences over whether to fund programs that supply condoms or offer abortions.
"Either we pay now or we pay later," Gayle said. "This is not an epidemic that you can fix on the cheap." Failing to invest in prevention would likely mean "an explosion of HIV" in India, China and other countries where the epidemic is emerging. Gayle quoted World Health Organization estimates that 29 million of 45 million projected new infections could be averted by 2010 if proven interventions are stepped up.
05.13.03; Maggie Fox