IRIN Humanitarian News and Analysis (12.12.12)
Aids Weekly Plus
At the end of 2011, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria stopped the majority of its funding to the Secretriado National de Luta Contra le Sida (SNLS), the government structure in charge of coordinating HIV prevention and treatment activities in Guinea-Bassau, because of poor management and a lack of transparent financial control. The Fund’s decision was strengthened in April 2012 following a coup d’etat after which the body charged with program verification could not perform its function due to security concerns. Although the Fund has continued to supply basic medicines and testing through their Voluntary Pooled Procurement facility, the SNLS, which is responsible for overseeing the transport of medicines to clinics and hospitals across the country and for medicine storage, has no funds for staff salaries, transport, or even electricity. According to Alison Jenkins, HIV/AIDS specialist at the UN Children’s Fund in Guinea-Bassau, only 16 percent of HIV-positive children and 39 percent of HIV-positive men who were eligible were receiving antiretroviral treatment at the end of March 2012. Of the adults aged 15–49, 5.3 percent are estimated to have HIV/AIDS in Guinea-Bassau, with women being three times more likely to be infected than men, according to a 2010 study.