MSF Report Warns Of Effects Of International Donor ‘Backtracking’ In Global Fight Against HIV/AIDS

“Backtracking by international donors in funding for HIV/AIDS may undermine years of progress and is already putting lives at risk,” according to a report (.pdf) released Thursday by Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), Reuters reports (Kelland, 5/27).

“[T]he report builds on analyses made in eight sub-Saharan countries to illustrate how major international funding institutions such as PEPFAR, the World Bank, UNITAID, and donors to the Global Fund [to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria] have decided to cap, reduce or withdraw their spending on HIV treatment and antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) over the past year and a half,” according to an MSF press release (5/27).

The report notes: “In contrast with incremental increases of the previous years and despite U.S. congressional authorization for a continued increase of funding for PEPFAR in the second phase, the funding for PEPFAR has been effectively flat-lined for 2009, 2010, and with similar proposals for following years” (5/27). “Other donors like UNITAID and the World Bank have also announced reductions in coming years in funding for AIDS drugs in Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), [the MSF report] said,” Reuters continues.

The report also highlights how funding shortfalls faced by the Global Fund could result in an increased strain on HIV treatment programs, the news service reports (5/27). Health-e/ summarizes additional findings from the MSF report, including the effect of funding on specific country programs (Thom, 5/27).