Urgent scale-up of action necessary to achieve universal access – UNAIDS

Urgent scale-up of action necessary to achieve universal access – UNAIDS

Achieving the goal of providing universal access to comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support by 2010 will require a dramatic and urgent scale-up of efforts, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) said in a new report released today.

Achieving the goal of providing universal access to comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support by 2010 will require a dramatic and urgent scale-up of efforts, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) said in a new report released today.

Universal access for 14 million people in less than three years’ time will also require significant increases in funding, between $32 and $51 billion, up from $10 billon this year. By 2015, between $45 and $58 billion would be necessary to prolong this approach, according to the report, entitled “Financial Resources Required to Achieve Universal Access to HIV Prevention, Treatment, Care and Support.”

Last year, a high-level General Assembly meeting was convened to bolster commitment to achieving the target of universal access by 2010, and by this June 93 countries had set ambitious goals while an additional 60 nations had developed strategic plans.

Brazil and Botswana are among countries that have made strides towards the goal, especially through the achievement of universal access to antiretroviral treatment. Other nations such as Kenya, Ethiopia and South Africa are pushing ahead to meet their national targets by 2010.

However, the $10 billion made available this year to fund the fight against the virus falls far short of what is needed to achieve universal access.

The new report also puts forward two other approaches to financing the effort to halt the spread of, and treat those living with, HIV/AIDS.

One suggestion is to boost resources to between $14 and $18 billion and achieve the treatment of 8 million people by 2015.

The other is to increase funding for countries based on their capacities and ultimately reaching universal access in all nations by 2015.

According to the report, the lack of investment in the early years of the AIDS response, particularly in strengthening health systems and addressing the “drivers of the epidemic,” has resulted in a more serious epidemic and the higher levels of funding needed today.