Australia Urged to Make HIV Funding in Asia, Pacific More Inclusive

Australia needs a more comprehensive plan for its AIDS prevention and treatment programs in Asia and the Pacific, according to a local network of non-governmental organizations focused on fighting HIV and AIDS.

The Australian Agency for International Development’s plan for tackling HIV in the region should be more inclusive to include targeted funding programs to address HIV rates among groups such as sex workers, men who have sex with men, and drug users, said Rob Lake, executive director of the Australian Federation of AIDS Organizations, according to Star Observer.

Lake noted these groups do not receive AusAID assistance because the agency currently spends the bulk of its HIV funding in Asia and the Pacific through governments that criminalize homosexuality and sex work.

“We want the government to accept the notion and respond with targeted funding programs,” Lake said, adding that he is seeking a meeting with the country’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to lobby for a more comprehensive AusAID HIV funding plan.

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.