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Amid Trump threatens financial cuts, Global HIV meeting urges US to 'stay engaged' on AIDS funding

Trump's Proposed Budget, Submitted In May, Reduces Funding For Several Global Health Programmes, Including HIV/AIDS

PTI | Updated on: 24 Jul 2017, 08:05:53 AM


On Sunday Organisers of an international HIV science conference in a global HIV meeting urged the US government, a major donor of AIDS research and treatment programmes, to "stay engaged" even as President Donald Trump has threatened cuts.

"The American people are a major funder in this and weneed them to stay engaged," International AIDS Society president Linda-Gail Bekker told journalists in Paris. Failure to do so, she said, would "jeopardise" lives. More than 6,000 scientists are gathered in the French capital  until Wednesday to assess advances in AIDS science amid concerns over funds drying up.

Globally, government donor funding for HIV dropped lastyear to the lowest level since 2010 --  from $7.5 billion (6.4billion euros) to $7 billion, according to the Kaiser FamilyFoundation (KFF), a California-based health policy NGO. The United States has for years been the biggestcontributor to the global fight against HIV infection, accounting for about two-thirds of funding by governments.

Trump's proposed budget, submitted in May, reduces funding for several global health programmes, including HIV/AIDS, with the expectation that other donors can and should increase their commitments.

"We've heard from the White House certainly suggestions of cuts that sound like they could seriously jeopardise theresponse to the epidemic," said Bekker. "This is a disastrous time to see not only flat-liningbut actually a reduction in funds," with ever more people inneed of treatment 

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First Published : 24 Jul 2017, 08:03:56 AM