Foreign Policy in Focus

HIV/AIDS in Africa:
Time to Stop the Killing Fields-
By Chinua Akukwe and Melvin Foote, Constituency for Africa

Key Points
· Africa accounts for 70% of all HIV/AIDS cases in the world although it represents only 10% of the global population. More than 25 million Africans live with HIV/AIDS and 17 million have already died.
· The response of the international community has been slow and largely ineffective.
· The UN estimates that Africa will need $ 3 billion just for basic treatment and prevention programs, yet the US donated only $ 300 million in assistance in 2000

Key Problems
· The US has not provided global leadership on access to AIDS drugs for Africa and has not supported Africa's demand to purchase or produce generic drugs.
· The US 2001 budget for fighting AIDS in Africa is about & 460 million, but much more is needed
· The US has yet to assert its influence at the World Bank and the IMF to put more resources in Africa and to cancel external debts.

Key Recommendations
· The US should lead other rich nations in supplying essential medicines to Africans living with AIDS and devote significantly more resources to fighting AIDS in Africa.
· The US should lead the fight for debt relief for African nations and ensure that the savings go into AIDS relief and other healthcare programs.
· The US and other rich nations should work with African governments to create an environment conducive to AIDS relief on the continent.

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