According to a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO),
At the same time, U.S spending worldwide on all “other health” programs, which includes “maternal and child health, infectious disease prevention and malaria control,” according to the GAO, went from $1.3 billion in 2001 to $1.7 billion in 2008.
Since 2003, meanwhile, payments to foreign countries for HIV/AIDS have grown significantly, in comparison with spending on other health programs, which have gone up and down over the same time period, the government watchdog reported.
By contrast, on “other” health programs abroad, the
Any way you parse the numbers, however, the increases in spending for HIV/AIDS are huge.
For HIV/AIDS programs abroad, total disbursements grew from $1.2 billion during FY2001-2003 to a total $11.1 billion over FY 2004-2008.
“In fiscal year 2004, the amount of money that U.S. taxpayers spent on HIV/AIDS programs was roughly equivalent to the total for the previous 3 years combined,” according to GAO.
“By fiscal year 2008, annual
By 2008, “almost twice as much was spent on HIV/AIDS programs as on other health programs,” the government auditor reported.
“The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), reauthorized in 2008 at $48 billion through 2013, has made significant investments in support of prevention of HIV/AIDS as well as care and treatment for those affected by the disease in 31 partner countries and 3 regions,” the GAO said.
The GAO noted that, in 2009 – outside the time frame for its audit -- PEPFAR reported it had paid for the drugs to treat more than 2.4 million patients with HIV/AIDS and to care and support for more than 11 million people affected by the disease.
Fifteen nations, most of them in sub-Saharan Africa –
“From 2001 to 2008, the
Spending on HIV/AIDS promises to go significantly higher in the near future, the report noted.
In May 2009, President Barack Obama announced the creation of a new Global Health Initiative (GHI) and proposed $63 billion in funding for all global health programs, including HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and maternal and child health, through 2014.
“According to the proposal, the majority of this funding--$51 billion, or 81 percent--is slated for global HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria programs,” the GAO report noted.
Meanwhile,UNAIDS, the United Nations HIV/AIDS directorate, says the number of diagnosed cases of HIV/AIDS worldwide went from 29.5 million in 2001 to 33.4 million in 2008. Sub-Saharan Africa accounted for 20.4 million cases in 2001, increasing to 23.9 million in 2008.
According to World Health Organization figures, in 2008, approximately 2 million people worldwide died of HIV-related causes, and the GAO report noted that an estimated 2.7 million people were newly infected with HIV.
By contrast, WHO says 9 million people become ill with just one non-AIDS disease -- active tuberculosis – and nearly 2 million die each year.