Financial crisis poses
new challenge for AIDS

More people with HIV/AIDS will be given access to medical treatment, but the worldwide financial crisis may undermine efforts as it threatens the global funding to fight the virus.

Michel Kazatchkine, executive director of the Global Fund for AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, said Monday the ongoing global crisis was shifting countries' attention from public health spending to economic recovery.

"The Global Fund will be facing major challenges in the coming years in terms of funding," Kazatchkine told a session at the 9th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP) at Bali Convention Center.

The Global Fund is an organization collecting and disbursing resources to prevent HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

It is a partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector and affected communities, and claims to provide a quarter of all international financing for AIDS globally.

Kazatchkine told countries to maintain their investment in health care so as to minimize the impacts of the crisis on efforts to tackle HIV/AIDS. 

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