The AIDS conference which opened in Cape Town, South Africa, on Monday to raise funds for AIDS studies in Africa has revealed details which should shock the developed countries into taking more notice of this continent where 70% of AIDS cases are registered.
The organisers of the AIDS conference in Cape Town hope to raise 233 million USD in funds for research purposes. Money is needed indeed, since only 1.6% of global funding arrives in Africa for research programmes, where only two out of thirty clinical trials in HIV patients have been conducted in the last fifteen years, despite the fact that 70% of the 40 million AIDS patients worldwide, reside in Africa.
Africa has some particular strains of the virus which do not occur elsewhere and for this reason, the African Aids Vaccine Programme is claiming extra funding (a fair share, it would seem) to finance African research programmes, providing local training schemes and an improvement in research facilities.
In 2001, fifteen African heads of state signed a document in Nigeria to set up an African AIDS research programme to provide vaccine for African victims of the disease. Peter Piot, the executive director of UNAIDS, organising the conference jointly with the World Health Organisation, declared that “A vaccine for Africa would be the best long-term preventive measure against AIDS”, adding that “Enormous efforts should go into this initiative, which could help address the health and development tragedy that AIDS has become for many African nations”.
Indeed, up to 40% of the population in certain countries.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru