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Lack Of Political Will Hindering AIDS Response

In a Globe and Mail opinion piece, Canadian researcher, writer and activist Gerald Caplan examines progress in the AIDS response since the early days of the disease, and he highlights a list of “challenges and misunderstandings” that remain today. “Although much is being done on the AIDS front, somehow there is never as much money available as experts deem necessary,” he states, adding, “It’s a tired old story and it’s hardly ever about scarcity. As always, it’s about political will and priorities.” He notes the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria last week received pledges of $12 billion, short of its replenishment goal of $15 billion, and he states the difference in funding means “life and death for countless Africans.”

“In Canada, knowledgeable civil society groups argued that this country’s fair share for the Global Fund should be $750 million; the government offered $650 million, or about $215 million a year,” Caplan continues. “Julio Montaner, a Canadian universally recognized for his expertise on HIV and AIDS, argues that ‘The government of Canada’s leadership in the fight against HIV/AIDS is long overdue,'” Caplan notes, concluding, “After this week, it still is” (12/6).