- GENEVA (www.nando.net) - The global AIDS epidemic can only be controlled
if much more funding is made available for developing countries where it
is still spreading rapidly, the United Nations UNAIDS program said Monday.
- Executive director Peter Piot also told
a meeting of the UNAIDS governing body that his organization, which links
six U.N. agencies, had entered a new phase in the fight against the disease.
- "With current funding levels, the
world simply cannot bring this global epidemic under control," he
- National funding was often "woefully
inadequate" and foreign aid was distributed very unequally between
countries, said Piot, appealing to the international community to increase
- "There are very many development
problems but AIDS is unique in the rate at which the epidemic is expanding,
its selective elimination of adults during their most productive years,
and its devastating impact on social and economic gains."
- Piot said the new phase in the struggle
against the disease and the HIV virus that causes it was marked by wider-than-ever
gaps between the areas where it was receding and those where it was out
- Paradoxically, he said, this came at
a time "when we know that prevention works and that a worsening epidemic
is not inevitable." The gaps, he added, "demand our action."
- Last month, U.S. health officials said
the rate at which people in the United States were being infected with
HIV was relatively stable while the increase in AIDS cases was slowing
due to new drug treatments.
- But estimates issued by UNAIDS and the
World Health Organization (WHO) at the end of last year put the number
of people around the world living with HIV infection at 30 million, more
than 90 percent of them in developing countries.