Friday, July 27, 2012

Stephen Lewis: no money to fight AIDS

Democracy Now!:

The world’s largest international AIDS conference concludes today in Washington, D.C. It was the first time in 22 years that the United States hosted the conference due to the Obama administration’s reversal of a two-decade ban that prevented people infected with HIV from entering the country. We speak to Stephen Lewis, co-founder and co-director of AIDS-Free World. From 2001 to 2006, he served as the U.N. Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa. He is the former Canadian ambassador to the United Nations. Lewis warns more money needs to be spent on the fight against AIDS. "We are always struggling for the crumbs and the pennies from the table [for global public health] when we know the amounts of money available for other and more perverse purposes internationally, and that too has to end," Lewis says. "The International Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria is in financial trouble because a number of the donor nations are not fulfilling the commitments they made so that the next round of grants has been significantly curtailed and that is being felt perilously at country level. I mean if we don’t get the drugs, people will die. It’s a pretty strong equation."

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