International News

PEPFAR, Global Fund Programs Treating 1.2 Million HIV-Positive People; 2 Million Receiving Antiretrovirals in Developing Countries, Report Says

December 4, 2006

Programs funded by the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria are providing about 1.2 million people living with HIV/AIDS in developing countries with antiretroviral drugs, according to statistics released Friday, the Boston Globe reports (Donnelly, Boston Globe, 12/2). PEPFAR at the end of September was providing 822,000 people living with HIV/AIDS support for treatment and the Global Fund was providing treatment to about 770,000 people worldwide (Russell, San Francisco Chronicle, 12/2). About two million HIV-positive people living in developing countries are receiving antiretrovirals, nearly twice the number of those who were receiving the drugs in 2005, according to officials (Boston Globe, 12/2). "Four years ago, almost nobody in Africa and elsewhere in the developing world was receiving treatment. That well over one million people with AIDS are on now on treatment through the support of Global Fund and PEPFAR is a remarkable achievement," Richard Feachem, executive director of the Global Fund, said, adding, "We must now build on this progress to reach the millions more who are still in urgent need." According to Ambassador Mark Dybul, who serves as the U.S. global AIDS coordinator, "Looking at these results, it is inspiring to see what has been achieved. Dedicated people in-country, including faith-based, community-based and other humanitarian organizations, are transforming the world through the promise of partnerships" (Global Fund release, 12/1). Many HIV/AIDS advocates last week said the goal of "near-universal treatment" by 2010, which was set by many countries two years ago, cannot be met at the current pace. President Bush on Friday said the U.S. is "committed ... [to] helping solve this problem by dedicating a lot of resources to the battle against HIV/AIDS"; however, "it's one thing to spend money, we also believe it's another thing to say that we expect there to be results." According to Dybul, PEPFAR is "on the upswing" and is on target to reach its goal of treating two million people living with HIV/AIDS by the end of 2008. Feachem estimates that 10 million people in developing countries by 2010 will need antiretroviral drugs (Boston Globe, 12/2).

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