As the global public health community gathered in the South African city of Durban this week to talk about the end of AIDS, they were greeted with news that annual international support for combating the epidemic had fallen by more than US$1 billion.
Many of the world’s middle-income countries say they are willing to take on that challenge, and with it the opportunity to assume more control in guiding their national programs. However, there are deep concerns, both among officials and activists.
Governments fret that there is not enough time to plan and guide the rapid pace of the transition, which could cause critical services to be interrupted. And civil society groups are concerned that the move to greater dependence on domestic funding will allow administrations that already criminalize specific groups – including gay men and sex workers – to drop HIV services for them entirely. Read more.