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July 18th, 2010
03:33 PM ET

Economic woes put HIV-AIDS advances at risk

The global economic downturn is affecting how much governments around the world are giving to fight the the spread and early treatment of HIV-AIDS and will be a key concern at the 18th International AIDS Conference this week in Vienna.

The conference  brings together the HIV-AIDS research and advocacy communities every two years to draw attention to the disease, which makes headlines less often than 10 or 20 years ago but today affects more than 33 million people worldwide.

Concerns about donor nations maintaining current funding levels - or more likely reducing their donations  –were voiced before the meeting began Sunday.

Doctors Without Borders told reporters Thursday that a reduction of funding will undo a lot of progress.  The organization released a report called “The Ten Consequences of AIDS Treatment Delayed, Deferred, or Denied.”

An estimated 5.2 million people around the world  were receiving HIV treatment at the end of 2009, more than 1 million more than the previous year, the World Health Organization said Sunday. "Starting treatment earlier gives us an opportunity to enable people living with HIV to stay healthier and live longer," said Dr Gottfried Hirnschall, WHO director of HIV/AIDS.

Bill Gates will address the conference on Monday. Reducing the burden of HIV is one of the top global health focuses of  his foundation. Gates, who also raised concerns about donor retreat in these lean economic times, said his speech would stress the need to "get more out of  the dollar of funding that is available."

He also plans to note successes that investment in HIV research have yielded. "On Tuesday we're expecting the results of a fairly key trial, the CAPRISA trial [a study testing the effectiveness of using an antiviral microbicide to prevent the spread of HIV in women]," he said. "That should give us a sense of how important that tool will be."

Since the first stories about an unknown virus surfaced nearly 30 years ago, 600,000 Americans have died from HIV-AIDS. Today,  one American is infected every 9.5  minutes,  according to government statistics cited in President Obama's national HIV/AIDS strategy released Tuesday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 million people in the United States are living with HIV and that one in five of those is unaware of their infection.
According to the World Health Organization , 2.7 million people were newly infected with HIV in 2008 and 2 million people, including 280,000 children, died of AIDS that year.


soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Augsbee

    Seriously, I think it is time we ask the rich like Oprah, Michael Moore, Al Gore, Hollywood celebrities, John Edwards, Teresa Heinz Kerry, Donald Trump, George Soros, Martha Stewart, Warren Buffet, Steve Jobs, etc... to truly surrender most of their money to help those in need of HIV treatments, prevention and hunger around the world including the USA. Enough talk, real action is needed by these very wealthy, rich people. Notice how the wealthy are always collecting money from us for these causes but yet when they give money it is usually in the thousands, it is never like $40 million of their own money?????? which will only put a dent in their fortunes.

    July 18, 2010 at 16:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Gman

      Thank you! I've been saying that for years.

      July 18, 2010 at 17:00 | Report abuse |
    • BD70

      Totally agree. Everything in regards to giving is left on the backs of the middle class.

      July 18, 2010 at 18:08 | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      Well, Warren Buffet gave $31 BILLION dollars away recently. He and the Gates's are working to convince the richest Americans to donate half of their money to charity. So I think they're doing their part.

      July 18, 2010 at 18:31 | Report abuse |
    • mdyer

      Why yes! Let's get some guns to back up our "request" and go help those wealthy folk to become more philanthropic regarding AIDS. Nevermind that they are already giving millions, and billions in some cases to charities and foundations. Nevermind that this is called theft. You're a cute little day-dreamer. Do you even have a job? Did you ever think that if you were so smart, honey, why aren't you rich?

      July 18, 2010 at 18:32 | Report abuse |
    • JEM

      Think of the thousands of people who's jobs depend on these people!

      Who will provide jobs after the investor class has been destroyed?

      July 18, 2010 at 19:03 | Report abuse |
    • evildave

      i'm not rich or no where near being rich but i also don't think that rich people should have to give one cent of their money to any charity if they don't want to. that would be equivalent to someone saying that because you have more money than some bum on the street that you should have to give your income to them. no body has the right to tell anybody how they spend their money especially for a disease that is 100% PREVENTABLE. i feel sorry for people with cancer or MS and not one bit for those with AIDS(with the exception of those who contracted it through blood transfusions). get real and stop making excuses for poor decisions. you can't choose not to get cancer, you can choose not to get AIDS.

      July 18, 2010 at 20:17 | Report abuse |
    • Kat

      Why should anyone from either the world's wealthiest or the middle class have to pay for someone else's choices? Whether it is the decision to have unsafe sex or to have children they can't afford? People who make money have usually worked hard for it and they deserve to keep it! No one should be forced to support endeavors that do not benefit them or they do not support. I am sick of the socialist sense of entitlement that Americans seem to be developing! People need to grow up and become accountable!

      July 19, 2010 at 00:27 | Report abuse |
    • tgor

      Yeah augsbee!! You know what else we should do? Get a mob together, gather the pitchforks and torches go to their mansions and just take the money!! I mean, what are they thinking having more money than we do?! Working hard and earning what they have?! The nerve!

      July 19, 2010 at 12:38 | Report abuse |
  2. J.T.

    You are an idiot! We should round up stupid people like you, and put you in camps, so you cant breed more closedminded people. Have you forgotten that a country tried to round up people and put them in camps many years ago? Why don't you try to educate yourself about the disease, that is what people should be doing. You moron.

    July 18, 2010 at 17:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • conoclast

      You can't be serious! You're baiting us, right? Put all the fornicators in camps?? (BTW, don't YOU ever fornicate, my man?)
      While we're putting folks in camps, what about all the other undesirables - like maybe all the folks who don't speak English? Or how about just jailing all the Muslims, hmm? It's simple: put all the people you don't like in jail where they belong – so that ignorant folks like you can steer the country back into the stone age. I'd say "get real" but you have no idea what that means.

      July 20, 2010 at 10:38 | Report abuse |
  3. Wylie

    Dave, My blood presslure just shot of the scale! WTF man! I am so offended by that comment. I did not ask for this disease! Had it for 21 years! I'm not going around having unprotected sex spreading it! For you to tell me that I should be rounded up and detained in a camp so I don't spread it....Do you Really think that is the answer????????????? Really, are you nuts or just ignorant! I suppose you condoned rounding up all the Jews too.

    July 18, 2010 at 17:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • DA

      Wylie – don't be offended. People like Dave are just plain ignorant.

      July 19, 2010 at 18:56 | Report abuse |
    • Art

      People like KAT are:
      Ignorant, Hateful and just plain stupid. Just another loving christian. And just another reason to ignore their false god and religions of hate.

      July 20, 2010 at 14:34 | Report abuse |
  4. 25foxtrot

    So much money and little results it's what i say . Millions if not billions for HIV and what do they have to show for it ?. This sounds to me like The alien theory , people see UFO , but the Government says it's a balloon WTH.

    July 18, 2010 at 18:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Todd Recznik

    Dave, Its not the people that know they have it is the threat. Its the people that dont know, and dont care to know.

    July 18, 2010 at 18:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. JEM

    Lets also round up everyone with other STD's as well.
    Those who can be treated would be treated; by force if necessary.

    Those who are untreatable would be shot

    July 18, 2010 at 19:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Jennifer

    Why would anyone 'educated' enough to know exactly how HIV is spread, and how easily it can be prevented, feel any sympathy for someone too careless with their own life to bother taking reasonable precautions? You can't have it both ways: either HIV/AIDS is easily preventable, in which case 99% of those who have it got it by being stupid, or it's easy contracted through no fault of one's own, in which case it's an epidemic and should be contained as such.

    July 18, 2010 at 22:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • DA

      So you never feel sympathy for anyone who has any disease which can be prevented? Most cancers, cardiovascular disease, etc.? Screw them – they don't deserve your sympathy or, really, anything? Give me a break. Mark my word, you will come down with something at some point in your life which has been at least partly the result of your behavior – maybe those Oreo cookies you ate last week. The world has no room for insensitive bigots, and the sooner you're gone the better.

      And by the way, even people who are careful can get HIV. Married people get it, for example, when a partner cheats on them without their knowledge. No one is psychic. HIV is preventable – to a point. We've never in the history of humankind obliterated a sexually transmitted disease – EVER.

      July 19, 2010 at 19:10 | Report abuse |
  8. Michael

    Wow Dave I'm glad you're not in a position of power or something. And chicagoK, wow ... you guys are closed minded and unintelligent ... you should really think about something before you start spouting off at the mouth. Stupid!

    July 18, 2010 at 23:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Phil

    The economic reality is that there are many unemployed parents who can't feed their kids, and thus giving money to dealing with preventable diseases like HIV will just have to take a back seat. People need to take personal responsibility of their own action, especially in these times of starving children.

    July 19, 2010 at 00:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Kat

    I don't think we should start out sending people to camps but I do think there should be strict laws about knowingly having unprotected sex while you have an STD – any STD. Jail time, public humiliation and heavy fines should be mandated. I also think HIV testing should be required by law. Some people try to avoid being tested now and that is ridiculous! I feel badly for anyone who contracted the disease via rape or blood transfusion and I am disgusted by anyone who would knowingly put someone else at risk by lieing about their sexual history, health or fidelity.

    July 19, 2010 at 00:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • J.T.

      There are laws in place for people who have hiv/aids, and knowingly have unprotected sex. In one state, Illinois, it is against the law for someone with the disease to have sex, even with another infected person. But most people that have the disease, don't even know that they have it. Lawmakers need to find a way to make sure that the population (at large) is regularly getting tested. I have also noticed, that my younger friends, I am 33, I am HIV +, and I didn't get it from being stupid, and/or doing stupid things, I caught it from my partner, who was a continual liar and cheater, but getting back on point, my younger friends are more educated about the disease, than people my age and older. Continuing education is really what is needed.

      July 19, 2010 at 16:36 | Report abuse |
  11. James

    Leaders of the world, and especially America ,we must get our house in order for our children. Please find a Cure Now!

    July 19, 2010 at 07:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • rolf's diary

      why? only with hopes from the folk you can make politic, not with results. all politicians are only indirect killers!
      http://rolfsdiary.wordpress.com/

      July 19, 2010 at 23:27 | Report abuse |
  12. Anonymous

    You can get AIDS from straight sex too.

    July 19, 2010 at 10:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. davesanidiot

    Seriously? Your ignorance makes me sick. Everyone chooses to have HIV or AIDS right? they see someone on the street and ask " do you have aids, i've been trying really had to catch that" NO YOU IDIOT! yes unprotected sex is not good at all with std's and pregnancy, but it can live in your body for 10 years without showing any symptoms! so people who have it dont know and change partners and then they get it. Not only are you completly ignorant about the disease but you really said round people up with AIDs and send them to camps? (shaking my head) you're an embarrassment to all living things.

    July 19, 2010 at 10:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. smh

    same sex copulation? HAHAHAHAHA! your an idiot. You may be shocked by this but heterosexuals can contract AIDs too! In fact the numbers of homosexuals getting aids has decreased dramatically in the past 15 years, heterosexuals numbers are the ones skyrocketing.

    July 19, 2010 at 11:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Josh

    HIV/AIDS is not limited to a minority group in wealthy countries – it's most commonly found in destitute countries in Africa, where military dictatorships make it legal for soldiers with the disease to rape women without it – thus creating offspring with the disease inherent. I'm seriously EMBARRASSED to live in a country where people don't know this and condemn it as only being a gay disease, or something you get by being only careless and promiscuous – there are a lot of people who didn't get it that way so yes, funding IS important.

    July 19, 2010 at 12:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Josh

    Surprised you can use a computer, let a lone assemble a group of hateful words and call them facts...

    July 19, 2010 at 12:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Viv

    History has shown that back to the Roman era that men having sex with men can bring down a society. Their sexual practices can be unsanitary which causes types of diseases unknown to the heterosexual world. Bisexuals are on the rise, therefore, infecting more women and innocent children. Surprised to discover that seminal fluid in anal sex can break down the human immune system in itself.

    July 19, 2010 at 13:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joseph

      How is it proven that men having sex together brought down societies? Any sexual act can be unsanitary depending on the conditions. Besides, HIV/AIDS is hardly a homosexual disease that just happened to spread to bisexuals and then on to heterosexuals. Maybe you should take the time to go out and actually research the history of HIV/AIDS so that when you post comments on stories like these, you can actually give off some semblance of intelligence instead of ignorant and vicious demagoguery.

      July 19, 2010 at 17:21 | Report abuse |
    • DA

      Viv – "seminal fluid in anal sex can break down the human immune system in itself" – what the hell does that even MEAN? Given your poor written communication skills, my guess is you also have poor understanding of science as well. You also have a poor understanding of history. Men have always had sex with men. If you're talking about times in history when people were having indiscriminate sex, that applies to heterosexuals as well. You can't just ingnore the behavior you agree with and magnify that which disgusts you – it's a true sign of your bigotry. If you're referring to the Bible (e.g., Sodom and Gom.) biblical scholars widely believe the moral there is rape, NOT homosexuality (no mention of lesbianism anywhere in the bible, by the way): Those who see the sin as "homosexuality" when one man rapes another man, and the sin as "rape" when it's a man raping a woman, really are putting their own bigtory on display for all to see.

      July 19, 2010 at 19:02 | Report abuse |
  18. Joseph

    I agree that sexual education on HIV/AIDS and other STD's is really helpful, especially coupled with treatment help for those that have already contracted it. However, imagining that everyone who contracted any STD is either careless and stupid or otherwise a helpless victim isn't helpful. No one can begin to know each and every situation that resulted in a new case of HIV. I'd have to say it'd be hard to get any kind of required HIV testing though. How would you determine who needs to be tested aside from the obvious, which is everyone who is sexually active?

    July 19, 2010 at 17:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. DA

    Above meant for Jennifer – CNN ads are blocking my attempt to reply directly. Fix this problem CNN!

    July 19, 2010 at 19:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. rolf's diary

    we should all cry out! then can they hear us! politic should not to be for selling weapons or fight against other meanings but to take care of his folk in the global context. let us going back to our roots: we are all humans, on one earth, in one universum. have we forgot this?
    http://rolfsdiary.wordpress.com/

    July 19, 2010 at 23:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. rolf's diary

    unnatural? you and your religion are unnatural. only sheeps without a brain to build an own meaning.what is with the priests in the catholic church they abused young boys? was it a order from god or from they dick?
    http://rolfsdiary.wordpress.com/

    July 19, 2010 at 23:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. frenchbugger

    In the absense of work, man just has to learn to stop screwing and cheating when married so much!!!

    July 20, 2010 at 05:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. frenchbugger

    My GAWD...to shoot seminal fluid up anyone's ass is a huge sin...BLASPHEMY!!!

    July 20, 2010 at 05:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. frenchbugger

    seminal fluid is to be squirted up cuntz...not asses, u idiots!!!

    July 20, 2010 at 05:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. frenchbugger

    Find your own cure if you love to screw so much!!! We have to work on fixing the economy...and don't have time for casual fornication!!! Go out and do some manual work...feel good about urself and get off ur asses, you tallywhackers and jackwagons!!!

    July 20, 2010 at 05:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. conoclast

    Seems like there is a new "class" in American politics: the ignorant. The Tea Party should come out with a new bumper sticker for their members: "I'm ignorant - and I vote." It's a calamitous state of affairs when a significant part of the electorate wholly distrusts logic and rational thought in favor of the kind of spoon-fed hysteria it encounters on the fringe right. We Are Our Brothers' Keeper; while millions suffer and starve there simply is no excuse for the hoarding of wealth!

    July 20, 2010 at 10:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Paul suter

    Why should the rich be forced to pay for other peoples mistakes? Granted charitable donations are wonderful and I would think that one would have a big heart to take care of our fellow man, women, and child, but on the other side. Abstinence is free, don't have sex, don't get infected. Don't share needles, don't get infected. Should the rich be forced to carry the luggage?

    July 20, 2010 at 10:52 | Report abuse | Reply

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