Commemorating World AIDS Day
Posted on: Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Today is World AIDS Day - a good time to remember that AIDS continues to ravage much of the world and that women are disproportionately affected as response to this pandemic flounders.
AIDS Around the World
- HIV is the leading cause of death for women of reproductive age.
- 33.4 million people are living with HIV. Of those, 22.4 are in sub-Saharan Africa. And only 42 percent of people who need treatment worldwide have access.
- In 2008 about $15 billion was available worldwide for HIV from all sources. UNAIDS estimates that $25 billion will be needed for 2010.
AIDS and US Foreign Policy
As a senator, Barack Obama had a good track record of funding prevention and treatment, and as a presidential candidate he promised the U.S. would be a world leader in the AIDS fight and would commit $50 billion by 2013.
But in Obama's first appropriations bill for fiscal year 2010, he kept funding at essentially the same level as 2009.
The WHO recently released new recommendations, including earlier introduction and more prolonged use of antiretroviral therapy and advising women living with HIV and taking antiretroviral therapy drugs to breastfeed their children for 12 months. But these recommendations mean little without resources in the hands of people who need them.