South Africa boosts AIDS spending
Tuesday in Cape Town, South African finance minister Trevor Manuel said the government will nearly quadruple its HIV/AIDS spending to more than $1.7 billion over the next three years, with $270 million earmarked for the roll-out of a national antiretroviral treatment program. Under growing pressure at home and abroad to respond more aggressively to the epidemic to avert a long-term economic decline, President Thabo Mbeki's government approved the universal antiretroviral roll-out in August and ordered officials to finalize an operational plan. The cabinet said Tuesday that the treasury had allocated the required resources for the treatment program. A cabinet meeting scheduled for next week is expected to give the final go-ahead for the plan.