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Donor Fatigue, Funding Cutbacks Could Mean Another 50 Years Of AIDS Epidemic, UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director Says

“With enough money spent in the right way, the world could soon reduce new HIV infections to zero, but global apathy and the financial crisis mean it might take another 50 years to stop the AIDS epidemic, a U.N. expert has said,” AlertNet reports. “At a time when HIV/AIDS efforts face an unprecedented decline in funding, Paul De Lay, deputy executive director of UNAIDS …, called on developing states to take more responsibility for tackling HIV in their own countries rather than relying on international assistance,” the news service notes.

“‘There’s a fatigue about AIDS,’ De Lay said. ‘The attention span of the aid and global health community and the politicians is short-lived, and there are other priorities,'” he said, adding that the epidemic “opens up too many sensitive areas of society, culture and religion, so it’s easy for this epidemic to drop off the screen, and I think that’s the real danger,” AlertNet reports. “Nonetheless, UNAIDS is hoping that funding for the global AIDS response will rise to $22 billion-$24 billion by 2015, an increase of around 50 percent from the $15 billion available in 2011,” the news service writes (Win, 2/8).