TORONTO, Nov. 28, 2011 /CNW/ - Outright reversal of the AIDS epidemic is
within the collective grasp of the global community, but the
opportunity may be lost, says Dignitas International.
The recent decision forced upon the Global Fund to Fight AIDS,
Tuberculosis, and Malaria to cancel its eleventh round of funding
threatens to derail the progress made to date.
According to UNAIDS, to continue the gains seen over the last decade,
annual funding must actually increase from US $15 billion to US $24
billion by 2015 in order to ensure all those who need AIDS treatment
get it. Today, less than half of those living in low and middle-income
countries are receiving treatment.
The opposite is happening. The international community has scaled back
its global health funding over the last two years, blaming the
continuing international financial crisis. Dignitas believes that
alternate and effective measures, such as the Financial Transaction
Tax, are necessary to remove global health funding decisions from the
political realm, and would ensure sustainable and effective funding at
"We are deeply concerned about how the cancellation of Round 11 will
affect the ability of ministries of health to provide treatment for
their populations. Through our work, we've seen first-hand that when
HIV-positive patients have access to proper health care, they are able
to return to productive roles in their communities. The Global Fund
has enabled millions of people living with HIV to regain their health
and dignity, and to economically contribute to their households. This
funding cut threatens the lives and well-being of millions," according
to James Fraser, Co-Founder, President and CEO of Dignitas
According to the UNAIDS 2011 World AIDS Report, the number of new
infections declined by 21% between 1997 and 2010. A total of 2.5
million deaths in low and middle-income countries have been averted as
a result of the introduction of antiretroviral treatment. Steady
progress has been achieved in large part due to the establishment of
the Global Fund.
As a Canadian-based medical humanitarian organization working for the
past seven years in Malawi, Dignitas International has effectively
brought HIV/AIDS treatment to rural communities and introduced training
and innovations for a more efficient and responsive health system.
Established in 2004 by Dr. James Orbinski and James Fraser, the
organization provides frontline medical care and engages in high-impact
research to eliminate barriers to treatment and build the capacity of
local health workers to treat HIV/AIDS and related conditions,
including tuberculosis, and malaria.
SOURCE Dignitas International
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