U.K. To Invest Roughly $16M In Researching HIV Prevention Strategies For Vulnerable Groups In Southern Africa

“The U.K. government is to invest £10.7 million [$16.2 million] in researching how to prevent adolescents and prisoners, two of the most vulnerable groups in southern Africa, becoming infected with HIV,” The Guardian reports. “The announcement comes as the U.K. reviews its AIDS funding, which totaled £1 billion [$1.5 billion] for HIV programs over the past three years,” the newspaper notes, adding, “International development minister Lynne Featherstone, speaking to The Guardian from Malawi on Thursday, made it clear she felt there has been an imbalance in the way funds are apportioned to HIV, with prevention being relatively neglected.” The newspaper writes, “Spending on antiretroviral drugs in southern Africa massively outstrips spending on prevention, because treatment is highly successful and cost-effective since the prices of antiretrovirals dropped under pressure from campaigners and the involvement of generic drug companies,” while “[b]ehavioral change campaigns, on the other hand, have not had anything like the same good outcomes.” According to The Guardian, “The U.K.’s HIV strategy review will look to preventing infection as the logical way to reduce costs — while infections continue to rise, the drug bill rises too. The strategy is intended to contribute to preventing half a million new infections among women by 2015” (Boseley, 7/11).

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