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 (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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