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MSF Calls For Sustained Commitment To Global HIV/AIDS Funding

During a press conference on Thursday, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) warned that the “global economic crisis and calls to commit funds to other health crises” threatened to undermine recent gains in the fight against HIV/AIDS, the Associated Press reports. MSF “says money for other health issues should be given in addition to money for [HIV/]AIDS” (11/5).

“After almost a decade of progress in rolling out AIDS treatment we have seen substantial improvements, both for patients and public health,” Tido von Schoen-Angerer, director of MSF’s Access to Essential Medicines Campaign, said in a press release (11/5).

“The HIV/AIDS emergency is definitely not over,” von Schoen-Angerer added. The news conference coincided with the organization’s release of a report (.pdf) that examines the impact of HIV/AIDS treatment programs worldwide, including an increase in the number of patients on antiretroviral therapy, Deutsche Presse-Agentur/M&C reports (11/5).

“A stronger commitment to other health priorities must happen, but this should be in addition to, not instead of, continued, increased commitment to HIV/AIDS,” von Schoen-Angerer said. According to the release, “The report provides evidence that, particularly in high HIV-prevalence settings, treating AIDS has a positive impact on other important health goals, in particular maternal and child health” (11/5).