has at least 5,5-million HIV-infected people, according to the governments
own estimates. When SAs new R45bn National Strategic AIDS Plan, was launched
this year, Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said the government would be
hard pressed to bankroll the entire plan itself and called on the private sector
to help. The
ambitious plan maps out SAs strategy for combating HIV and AIDS over the next
five years, and has been widely hailed. The government has earmarked R14bn for
HIV/AIDS over the three-year medium term expenditure framework.
said she had personally been involved in efforts to help the government but had
been repeatedly rebuffed. SA
doesnt want the World Banks money. We actually lost a lot of money in
trying to entice SA to take money from the World Bank. We didnt succeed.
of practical help were also declined, she said. We
hope the situation will change. The bank stands ready to help, she said.
banks Pretoria office was in constant communication with the
made her remarks ahead of the 4th International AIDS Society (IAS) conference on
HIV pathogenesis, treatment and prevention, which opens in Sydney on Sunday.
gathering is expected to draw 5000 experts from around the world to discuss the
latest scientific developments in the prevention and treatment of HIV.
are also due to discuss the latest advances in scientists understanding of
the virus itself, and how to put new research findings into practice.
in Cape Town yesterday about the World Banks offer and SAs apparent
refusal of it, Mlambo-Ngcuka said she had no knowledge of either.
IAS, the worlds largest independent association of HIV experts, planned to
use the conference to launch a global call for governments and bilateral donors
to earmark 10% of the funds they allocated to HIV programmes for research, said
conference co-chair David Cooper. Many
developing countries were battling to meet the demand for AIDS drugs and were
concentrating their limited resources on developing implementation programmes
without detailed monitoring systems, he said. Many
of us are afraid if this rollout of AIDS drugs doesnt go well, and the donors
become fatigued and unhappy with some outcomes, then we wont have an evidence
base on which to work out why it hasnt gone as well as wed have liked ,
he said. With Linda Ensor