July 2, 2007
HIV prevention programs could avert 30 million of the 60 million HIV infections expected by 2015, according to a new report by the Global HIV Prevention Working Group. But while prevention groups have the tools, they do not have the money, said the group, which was convened by the Gates and Kaiser Family foundations.
"We should be winning in HIV prevention," said Jennifer Kates, vice president and director of HIV policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation. Over 50 public health experts, clinicians, researchers, and people living with HIV were part of the group, whose report was released June 28.
To decrease infection rates, organizations combating HIV/AIDS would need more money than the estimated $10 billion now being spent in developing countries, Kates said. Of the $22 billion required by 2010, half would need to be spent on prevention.
"Over the past few years, there have been major increases in funding for AIDS, but we are still well short of what is needed," said Dr. Nicholas Hellmann, interim director of HIV/TB programs for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and a Working Group member. For example, HIV/AIDS program spending increased six-fold from 2001 to 2006 in low- and middle-income countries. But in 2006, for every person who began treatment, six more people were newly infected.
6.30.2007; Donna Gordon Blankinship