Budget Woes

Recession Stifles AIDS Funding

Where’s the AIDS bailout? A report issued ahead of a major international summit found that global funding to treat the disease essentially flat-lined in 2009, after several years of steady growth. Governments contributed a total of $7.6 billion for AIDS treatment in 2009, a figure that was most likely brought down by the global financial crisis, which tightened budgets across the globe. But AIDS activists aren’t buying it. “Over the last year, the same leaders had absolutely no problem finding money to bail out their corporate friends,” said the president of the International AIDS Society. “Yet when it comes to global health, the purse is always empty.” The heartbreaking aspect is that mounting evidence shows that global AIDS treatment has been very effective in recent years, both reducing deaths and slowing transmission rates for millions in the developing world.