Report sounds alarm on impending HIV, AIDS crisis in Eastern Europe, Asia

An image from UNAIDS' "Believe it. Do it." campaign website. The United Nations has launched a campaign to end new HIV infections among children by 2015. Photo by: UNAIDS

A new report reinforces fears raised by civil society groups on the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria’s newly adopted policy in November.

The agency has been regarded as a major player in the global fight against HIV and AIDS: Its total investments in HIV and drug use programs up to its Round 10 funding have amounted to $582 million. Thus, many were worried of a reversal in the gains achieved in fighting the disease when the fund canceled its Round 11 funding last year.

The report, “HIV, Drug Use and the Global Fund: Don’t Stop Now!,” by the International HIV/AIDS Alliance urges the funding agency to “revoke” its 55 percent rule when the board meets May 10 and 11. The new policy requires 55 percent of all renewal funding in a year to be allocated to low-income countries, limiting funding to middle-income countries.

The report warns of on an impending HIV and AIDS crisis in Eastern Europe and Asia. It says 80 percent of HIV infections in the regions are due to drug injections. And the fund’s policy, plus reduced financing from donors, may adversely affect the U.N. target to reduce HIV transmission via drug injections by half come 2015.

The United Nations, meanwhile, launched May 8 a campaign to end new HIV infections among children by 2015. The campaign, titled “Believe it. Do it.,” will be featured on Good Morning America and CNN, among other media outlets. Several personalities are also expected to join the campaign, including Naomi Watts, Annie Lennox, Blair Underwood and Whoopi Goldberg.

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About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.