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International AIDS Society Urges US Not to Cut Funding

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By    |   Monday, 24 Jul 2017 01:26 PM

The International AIDS Society has urged the U.S. not to follow through with its planned "draconian" funding cuts that could severely harm the treatment of the deadly disease worldwide, Newsweek reported on Monday.

"The largest and most important donor in HIV response has threatened devastating cuts to funding for research and treatment programs," IAS President Linda-Gail Bekker said at the opening of the society's conference in Paris, Deutsche Welle reported.

Insisting that "draconian cuts to research and ... HIV funding is a catastrophe we cannot afford to see happen," Bekker said: "These onslaughts on funding, principles and programs have already begun to erode the gains we have so painstakingly made."

She added that, "If we do not actively move forward on the HIV response, then we are sliding back, [which means] sick patients, lost lives, ongoing transmission and infected children — a world that we do not want to go back to."

The U.S. gave 66 percent of all worldwide bilateral and multilateral funding to HIV research in 2015, according to the Kaiser Foundation, but President Donald Trump's proposed budget outlines massive cuts to global health programs, including those connected to combatting HIV and AIDS, with Trump urging other donors to boost their contributions, according to Deutsche Welle.

U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Deborah Birx, who is attending the conference, however, tried to reassure other nations about American intentions, The Nation reported.

"The U.S. is deeply committed to global funding and the increasing commitment to global funding is absolutely essential,'' she insisted.

A statement summarizing the aims of the conference said that "scientific knowledge" was "the backbone of the HIV response" and warned that the march of progress in the fight against the disease is "threatened by a weakening resolve to fund HIV science," Deutsche Welle reported.

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The International AIDS Society has urged the U.S. not to follow through with its planned "draconian" funding cuts that could severely harm the treatment of the deadly disease worldwide, Newsweek reported on Monday.
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2017-26-24
Monday, 24 Jul 2017 01:26 PM
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