JOHANNESBURG (AP) — African nations are not receiving adequate international funding to fight HIV/AIDS, leaving them to face catastrophic consequences without enough medication, an independent, global medical and humanitarian organization said Thursday.
Experts at Medecins Sans Frontieres, or Doctors Without Borders, said Congo is only able to supply anti-retroviral drugs to 15 percent of the people needing them and "patients are literally dying on our doorstep."
In a statement released in Johannesburg ahead of the United Nations world AIDS conference in Washington starting July 22, the organization said African countries worst affected by the pandemic were the least able to provide "the best science" available to fight it.
The group said that while world data by the U.N. has pointed to gains over the disease, donors have scaled back on earlier funding commitments to Africa.
African countries were being increasingly urged to find their own domestic solutions to the AIDS pandemic, it said.
"This is just a cynical excuse for donors to scale back on their earlier commitments of putting an end to this disease. It will have catastrophic consequences for patients," Dr. Eric Goemaere, the organization's senior regional adviser for southern Africa, told reporters in Johannesburg. "It would be outrageous to assume that African states could combat this emergency alone, given their current limited resources."
At the Washington summit, leaders and scientists are scheduled to review programs aimed at eventually eradicating AIDS. But plans to increase treatment and improve the quality of care in developing countries now risks being scrapped entirely as international support stagnated, the organization said.
The Global Fund, a major backer of anti-AIDS projects in South Africa and the region, now faced waning donor interest, it said.
The latest study issued by UNAIDS reports that international anti-AIDS funding hovered at about $8 billion in 2008 and has not increased by any significant amounts since then, forcing some developing nations to increase their own spending to keep existing programs running.
But just as the funds are being squeezed, bounds are being made.
South Africa on Thursday reported a decline in cases of mother-to-child transmission of the virus that causes AIDS because of treatment given to mothers and babies aged four to six weeks.
"It has proven that putting mothers and infants on treatment early on really works," Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi told reporters.
In South Africa, 32 percent of live births are HIV-exposed and it is estimated 30 percent of HIV-exposed babies will be infected within eight weeks of birth if there is no drug treatment. The country has 5.6 million people living with AIDS, the highest of any world nation, and an infection rate of about 18 percent of the population of 50 million.
According to Doctors Without Borders, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe have also reported progress in their AIDS programs.
Malawi was the first to begin prevention of mother-to-child transmission through treating infected expectant and breast feeding mothers.
Stuart Chuka, an official of the Malawi health ministry, said the eradication of AIDS now relied on state-of-the-art medical technology and the money to pay for it.
"Just as success is within reach, we're up against a great financial squeeze. I truly believe we can end AIDS. But we can't do it alone," he said Thursday.
Thierry Dethier, a Doctors Without Borders official based in Congo, said in that country just one tenth of health facilities offer AIDS treatment.
"We receive critically ill patients who have desperately searched for ARV treatment" whose condition had reached the point of death, he said.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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