Fund crunch diagnosed

Published: Friday 15 August 2003

Even as the progress made in anti- aids research was discussed at the Conference on hiv Pathogenesis and Treatment, participants expressed concern over the acute shortage of money needed to pass on the benefits of such studies to affected people. It was observed at the meeting -- organised in Paris by the International aids Society -- that six million hiv positive people were in urgent need of anti-retroviral drugs, and the annual cost of their treatment would work out to us $10 billion.

Apparently, the grants being provided by organisations such as the Global Fund for aids are not adequate. In its first two rounds of grant applications, the global fund approved us $1.5 billion over two years for more than 150 programmes in 92 countries. This money would suffice for the retroviral treatment of only 500,000 infected people and for providing educational support to the same number of children who have been orphaned due to aids. But since these funds are also meant for the treatment of malaria and tuberculosis, their availability for aids goes down considerably.

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