IAS Calls For Increase In Research Funding To Fight HIV/AIDS

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Research Funding To Fight HIV/AIDS

The International AIDS Society on Tuesday ahead of the 4th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention -- scheduled to take place July 22 to July 25 in Sydney, Australia -- released the Sydney Declaration, which calls for increased research funding to fight HIV/AIDS worldwide, the Australian Associated Press reports.

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Thedeclaration proposes that donors allocate at least 10% of their HIVresources to research and states that "although funding remainsinsufficient to meet the increasing need for services, it is imperativethat the global community does not lose sight of the future whileresponding to the immediate crisis."

The declaration notes that"in addition to basic, clinical, prevention, social, and policyresearch," operations research also is important to "enable rapidimplementation of new technologies to prevent, diagnose and treat" HIV(McLean, Australian Associated Press, 7/10). Fewcountries and organizations allocate funds for research and often donot use such funding when it is available, the declaration says.According to the declaration, the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malariaallows 10% of each grant for operations research, but the provisionrarely is used by countries (Sydney Declaration, July 2007).

IASin a statement released with the declaration said that "without suchfunding," the international community will "fail to maintain asustained and effective response to the AIDS pandemic." David Cooper,director of Australia's National Centre for HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research,said the funding pledge is critical to address HIV in developingcountries and ensure that HIV prevention and treatment programs areintegrated with existing health programs, such as hospital care and TB,malaria, prenatal, postnatal, and sexual and reproductive healthservices (Australian Associated Press, 7/10).

Thedeclaration also called for a "sustained commitment" to continuouslyimprove evidenced-based HIV services and for a "greater understanding"of the social, political and cultural barriers that contribute tostigma and discrimination associated with HIV. In addition, thedeclaration addressed the "absurd theories of AIDS denialists" and"'magic cures" that "continue to confuse policymakers, health careprofessionals and communities of people at risk of and living withHIV/AIDS throughout the world" (Sydney Declaration, July 2007).
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