Global AIDS Care Falls Short of Goal
The World Health Organization set a goal two years ago of getting life saving AIDS medication to three million people in developing nations by the end of 2005. The WHO is sad to report only a third of the ambitious goal will be met.
The campaign, dubbed “3 by 5” has seen 300,000 patients receiving antiretroviral therapy added every six months, but Dr. Jim Yong Kim, director of the WHO’s HIV/AIDS department, says that’s not a sufficient rate to meet the goal.
“It is much slower than we thought,” he told Reuters. “Three by the end of 2005 looks very unlikely.”
One million have been placed on medication, more than twice the number of people when the program started in 2003. The number needed to reach at least 1.6 million by the end of June to be on pace for the original target.
Of the 6 million adults and children who have AIDS, the largest number live in sub-Saharan Africa where about half a million are receiving treatment.
But high goals aren’t futile, as shown in the numbers of people being treated in the poorest countries. In Latin America and the Caribbean, 2/3 of those who need treatment are receiving it. In Asia, the number of people receiving treatment tripled, while in Eastern Europe treatment has nearly doubled.
North Africa and the Middle East are not showing as good a numbers as coverage is only 5 percent.
Asia has seen numbers rise from 55,000 to 155,000 since June 2004, while in eastern Europe and central Asia people on treatment have nearly doubled in a year to 20,000, according to an update report on “3 by 5.”
In Latin America and the Caribbean, about two out of three people, or 290,000, in need of treatment receive it. But in north Africa and the Middle East coverage is only 5 percent. Some have blamed the governments of these regions for the shortfall.