Governments that support treatment and services for people with HIV/AIDS in low- and middle-income countries cut their annual contributions in 2010 by 10%. A recent report from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) shows that donor nations gave $6.9 billion last year compared with $7.6 billion in 2009 (http: //tinyurl.com/3nl5322).
The decrease may not have come as a surprise to AIDS experts, who have watched the global economy spiral downward for several years. Nonetheless, it is a setback in recent progress to combat the epidemic. UNAIDS has reported a 20-fold increase in access to treatment and a nearly 25% reduction in new infections during the last decade. Those gains coincided with annual increases in disbursements from donor nations, from $1.2 billion in 2002 to $7.7 billion in 2008.