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HIV prevention, treatment under threat

world aids dayA new report issued by the International AIDS Society (IAS) reveals the scale of the future challenge for HIV treatment and prevention at a time when new infections are outstripping those receiving treatment by five to two.

While significant progress has been made towards achieving universal access to HIV prevention, treatment and care, with a consistent increase in funding for the AIDS sector between 2001 and 2008 resulting in an estimated 5.2 million people receiving life-saving treatment by 2009, compared with only 500,000 in 2003, the IAS report reveals that the progress made in the sector is under threat.

The current economic challenges combined with a waning political will and a flatlining of resources are preventing the international community from making universal access a reality.

Principal donors, including PEPFAR, the World Bank, UNITAID, and the Global Fund are experiencing funding reductions or failing to increase funding in line with needs. The World Bank estimated that the cumulative effect of a diminished scale-up effort over five years would be approximately 10 million deaths and 14 million newly infected individuals.