Anticipating the release of a full report expected by the end of this month, the Joint United Nations Progamme on HIV/AIDS said this week that the global fight against HIV faces a multibillion-dollar shortfall over the next three years. The latest projections show only an estimated $8.9 billion available for 2006, compared with the needed $14.7 billion. For 2007, $17.8 billion will be required, yet just $10 billion is currently available, UNAIDS said.
"We have come a long way in mobilizing extra funds for AIDS, moving from millions to billions, but we still far short of the $22 billion needed in 2008," said Peter Piot, chief of UNAIDS.
Overall, more than $54 billion will be needed between 2006 and 2008 for HIV prevention, care, and treatment as well as support for vulnerable children and other staffing and construction costs, the agency said. Should the funding needs be met, 75% of the 6.6 million people in need of antiretroviral treatment will have access to the drugs by 2008, UNAIDS projects. (AP)