Situation Critical: US Curbs AIDS Funding to Africa as Patient Numbers Rise

People are being turned away as those seeking treatment outpace funding

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It's situation critical in many parts of Africa as US funding is curbed in the fight against AIDS while the number of those infected mount. From The Wall Street Journal:

Seven years after the U.S. launched its widely hailed program to fight AIDS in the developing world, the battle is reaching a critical turning point. The growth in U.S. funding, which underwrites nearly half the world's AIDS relief, has slowed dramatically. At the same time, the number of people requiring treatment has skyrocketed.

And lately, the global campaign to prevent new infections has suffered some reversals. In Uganda, a lush East-African country that once stood out as a shining star in the fight against AIDS, the rate of HIV in the population has begun to tick up again after a long decline. That's putting an even greater strain on a health system that's struggling to cope with the hundreds of thousands who already have the disease and could be a harbinger of what's to come in the rest of Africa.

The Buzz found this bit of the article particularly heartbreaking

Ninsiima Agatha, a 20-year-old mother of two, showed up at a medical clinic here last month, weak, coughing, and desperate to save herself and her two children. She had just discovered that her husband was infected with HIV—and now she had the virus too. If she didn't get access to life-saving drugs quickly, she could easily pass the disease to the baby she was breast-feeding.

But the staff at the Joint Clinical Research Centre had to tell her the bad news. Even though her husband, a clothes merchant with a girlfriend on the side, was already receiving the so-called AIDS cocktail of drugs elsewhere, there would be none for her. The clinic had enrolled its full quota of patients under its contract with the U.S. government. Ms. Agatha, sprawled on a hospital bed with a toddler and an infant, could barely move. "I feel desperate," she said.

*Sigh*

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