Project Medishare | UNAIDS concerned economic crisis could hinder HIV treatment, prevention
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UNAIDS concerned economic crisis could hinder HIV treatment, prevention

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By Jennifer Browning

While recent reports from the Associated Press explain how Haiti is finding ways to limit the spread of HIV/AIDS, there is still concern that the current economic crisis could hinder the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS.

Media Global’s Amy Lieberman reported that nations in East and Southern Africa are beginning to feel the impact of fallen export trade markets and donor lending systems.

“The Global Economic Crisis and HIV Prevention and Treatment Programmes: Vulnerability and Impact,” a report from UNAIDS, , the United Nations program addressing the disease, and the World Bank reports 22 of the 71 countries in Africa, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, and the Asia-Pacific expect to witness a disruption of HIV prevention and treatment programs over the next year.

While there has been progress regarding the provisions of drugs and HIV-related deaths are decreasing, the current economic crisis could slow down this progress according to René Bonnel, a World Bank specialist on HIV/AIDS and the economy.

The official rate of infection in Haiti today is 2.2 percent among people ages 15 to 49, according to UNAIDS. While this is still far higher than in the developed world, it’s lower than the Bahamas, Guyana and Suriname, and much lower than sub-Saharan Africa, where the rate averages about 5 percent. That number increases to 24 percent in Botswana and 33 percent in Swaziland.

In December, Project Medishare received a grant through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and are currently continuing programs in the central plateau in regards to HIV/AIDS treatment, prevention and education.

Read the full MediaGlobal article here.