Funding Cut Undermines AIDS Fight, MSF Report Says

A child looks on as a man gets tested for AIDS. Diminished donor funding for the epidemic will result in more unnecessary deaths, says Medecins Sans Frontieres. Photo by: Victoria Holdsworth / Commonwealth Secretariat

Diminishing donor funding for combating AIDS will result in many more unnecessary deaths and undermine the progress made in fighting the epidemic, a new report of Medecins Sans Frontieres warns.

According to the  report, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, World Bank, UNITAID, and donors to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria have capped, cut or pulled out financing for HIV treatment and antiretroviral drugs over the past year and a half.

The drop in financing has prompted reduction in the number of people starting ARV treatment particularly in South Africa, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“How can we give up the fight halfway and pretend that the crisis is over,” MSF health policy analyst and report author Mit Philips asked.

Some 9 million people worldwide requiring immediate treatment - two thirds of them are in sub-Saharan Africa - are still not able to access lifesaving care, Philips added.   

“There is a real risk that many of them will die within the next few years if necessary steps are not taken now. Also, the current donor retreat will prevent more people from accessing treatment and will threaten to undermine all the progress made since the introduction of ARVs,” he said.

About the author

  • Ma. Rizza Leonzon

    As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.