New Delhi: Current spending on “AIDS response” needs to be increased by $8-12 billion a year in order to meet the fast-track target of $31.9 billion in 2020, according to a UNAIDS report released on Tuesday. The current spending is around $22 billion a year.
New HIV infections have fallen by 35% and AIDS-related deaths by 41%, said the report ‘How AIDS changed everything—Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 6: 15 years, 15 lesson of hope from the AIDS response.’
The report also shows that the next five years will be critical. Front-loading investments in the fragile five-year window up to 2020 could reduce new HIV infections by 89% and AIDS-related deaths by 81% by 2030.
By meeting the 2020 target, the need for resources would begin to permanently decline, reducing to $29.3 billion in 2030 and far less in the future. The report underscores that international assistance, especially for low income and low middle-income countries, will be necessary in the short-term before sustainable financing can be secured in the long term.
Sub-Saharan Africa will require the largest share of global AIDS financing: $15.8 billion in 2020, said the report.
Since 2000, an estimated $187 billion has been invested on AIDS response, $90 billion of which came from domestic sources. The US has invested more than $44 billion on AIDS and is the largest international contributor. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria invests nearly $4 billion each year towards AIDS programmes and has disbursed more than $15.7 billion since its creation in 2002.
The need for increased funding becomes clear as treatment coverage is a mere 36% of all people living with HIV in Asia and the Pacific. An estimated 3.1 million adults did not have access to antiretroviral therapy in these regions in 2014. Thailand and Cambodia are the only two countries that have more than 50% of all people living with HIV currently on antiretroviral treatment.
Data specific to India on most of the parameters used to measure the success of the MSGs (monosodium glutamate) was unavailable in the report.
The global response to HIV has averted 30 million new HIV infections and 7.8 million AIDS-related deaths since 2000, when the millennium development goals were set.
“Fifteen years ago there was a conspiracy of silence. AIDS was a disease of the ‘others’ and treatment was for the rich and not for the poor,” said Michel Sidibé, executive director of UNAIDS. “We proved them wrong, and today we have 15 million people on treatment—15 million success stories,” he said.
Between 2000 and 2014, new HIV infections dropped from 3.1 million to 2 million, a reduction of 35%. In 2014, the report shows that 83 countries, which account for 83% of all people living with HIV, have halted or reversed their epidemics, including countries with major epidemics, such as India, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
By 2014, UNAIDS estimates that 85 countries had less than 50 new HIV infections among children per year, and in 2015, Cuba became the first country to be certified by the World Health Organization as having eliminated new HIV infections among children.
[“source – livemint.com”]