The medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres has warned of the drastic implications of recent cutbacks in HIV/AIDS funding as donors and other stakeholders in the global effort against HIV/AIDS meet at an international conference in Austria.
“Donors have started to shift their support away from HIV/AIDS, and funding is not keeping up with the need,” MSF said according to Agence France Presse.
In a recently released report, MSF said it found that several donors have frozen their support for HIV and AIDS programs.
“It is a very frustrating feeling to see that in spite of the achievements that have been made… the international donors, for the moment, show less interest and less resolve to continue to support the fight against HIV/AIDS,” Mit Philips, author of the report, was quoted by AFP.
“It’s as if they want to give up the fight halfway through. We want to tell them: ‘you cannot turn back now on AIDS treatment, it’s too important’,” she added.
More than 25,000 participants, including government leaders, civil society representatives, scientists, health care providers and people living with HIV/AIDS are expected to attend the 18th International AIDS conference in Vienna on July 18 to 23.
The conference will focus on reviews of ongoing and planned global efforts to address HIV/AIDS. Sustaining donor pledges and the spread of HIV in Central Asia and Eastern Europe are among topics to be discussed in the conference, where former U.S. President Bill Clinton and philanthropist Bill Gates are expected to speak, according to Deutsche Presse-Agentur.
U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Eric Goosby, who recently returned from a trip to Uganda, will lead the U.S.’s delegation to the conference. According a news release from the State Department, the U.S. will use the conference as an opportunity to share best practices, data and lessons learned from its PEPFAR-supported programs.