HIV/AIDS Funding, Treatment Standards, Empowering Women Addressed At ICAAP

Funding to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS in Asia and the Pacific has fallen short of the demand, and the majority of available money has missed reaching those at highest risk – Swarup Sarkar, director of Asia unit for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria – said during a session at the 9th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP) in Bali, Indonesia, the Jakarta Post reports. “More than 80 percent of the available budget has gone to low-risk young people, compared with less than 20 percent that has gone to high-risk young people,” he said (Maulia, 8/13).

In a related story, the Phnom Penh Post examines the conflict between changing the existing HIV treatment guidelines for “resource limited settings” and the funds needed to provide universal HIV treatment – a topic discussed at the ICAAP meeting (Green, 8/13).

IBNS/ examines the recent release and ICAAP session on the book, “Diamonds,” which tells the stories of 11 HIV-positive women living in the Asia-Pacific region. The book, sponsored by UNIFEM, East Asia, and UNAIDS, emphasizes the role HIV-positive women can play in the fight against HIV/AIDS (Biswas, 8/13). A second IBNS/ story examines new techniques are being used by advocates to help empower HIV-positive women (Biswas [2], 8/13). In a separate story, IBNS/ examines the role men can play in helping to protect women from HIV/AIDS (Biswas [3], 8/13).

Reuters examines the disruption of the ICAAP meeting Wednesday when a “small band of protestors” lashed out at the pharmaceutical company Roche, which they argue prices its Hepatitis C medication “too high for dying [HIV-positive] patients to afford” (Lyn, 8/12).

As the ICAAP meeting concludes Thursday, Viet Nam News examines some of the topics covered during the event, including “ways to integrate a comprehensive AIDS response into existing health care systems and advance strategies to free people infected by and vulnerable to HIV from stigmatisation, marginal-isation and discrimination.” The next congress will take place in South Korea in 2011, according to the news service (8/13).

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