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.
Read more development aid news online, and subscribe to The Development Newswire to receive top international development headlines from the world’s leading donors, news sources and opinion leaders — emailed to you FREE every business day.