Global HIV spending 'unjustified'
16 February 2007 00:00 in Industry related health news
Developed nations and international aid agencies are spending too much money on fighting the spread of Aids, it has been claimed.
Writing in the British Medical Journal, Roger England, chairman of the Grenada-based Health Systems Workshop, says that HIV funding is being spent "inefficiently and sometimes counterproductively".
In 2000, eight per cent of global health aid was allocated to combat HIV/Aids and Dr England predicts this will rise to 25 per cent by the end of the current year.
He claims that when measured by disability-adjusted life years lost, HIV only contributes to five per cent of the burden of disease in low and middle-income countries.
The charity chairman adds that although Aids causes 2.8 million deaths every year worldwide, this is still less than deaths attributable to diabetes.
He says that funding could be better spent on bed nets, immunisation programmes or family planning, claiming that HIV interventions are "not cost effective enough to justify this disproportionate spending".
But countering Dr England's claims, the Joint UN Programme on HIV and Aids (UNAids) says that current resources allocated to combating Aids are only half of what is needed for a "comprehensive response".
"Poor coordination between different stakeholders in affected countries also impedes effective spending," writes UNAids' Paul de Lay.
A separate article in the Lancet medical journal today questions the use of data from voluntary HIV counselling and HIV testing clinics across Africa.
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Story collated for Zenopa by the Adfero News Agency