Associated Press (12.21.09) - Wednesday, December 23, 2009
While this decade saw millions of HIV/AIDS patients in
developing nations gain access to treatment, an estimated 10
million patients still go without, Doctors Without Borders
reported Monday. DWB's top-ten list of humanitarian crises
includes AIDS treatment access, because many of the G8 nations
that pledged support for universal treatment access in 2005
have announced plans to scale back or limit funding. The G8
sought universal treatment access by 2010.
"When there are concerning signs of retreat for access to
treatment, it's important to state that HIV/AIDS is an
emergency," said Sophie Delaunay, executive director of DWB-
United States. "In some countries doctors are turning patients
away, advised to wait until other patients die," said
Delaunay. "What's going to happen is that patients are going
to show up at the door of our clinics and there is a high
possibility of us getting overwhelmed."
DWB has issued an annual list of crises since 1998, spurred on
by a famine in southern Sudan largely ignored in the US media.
The crises are not ranked in order of importance. This year,
DWB cited governments in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Sudan for
blocking lifesaving assistance. In the Democratic Republic of
Congo, government forces attacked civilians who had gathered
for a DWB childhood vaccination campaign, the group said.
DWB also flagged Chagas, visceral leishmaniasis, sleeping
sickness, and other diseases of the poor as neglected by the
international community. To access the list, visit