Brazil and India will lead HIV efforts

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IOL pic july25 aids conference Reuters Aids activists take part in a rally across from the White House in Washington during the International Aids Conference 2012 in the city.

Washington - Top Aids officials from developing powers China, Brazil and India on Tuesday declared that their countries would provide global leadership through their successful domestic programmes to combat HIV infections - but indicated they would not increase contributions to the UN Global Fund to Fight Aids.

The remarks came during a panel discussion at the International Aids Conference. On Monday, American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged emerging economies to increase their contributions to the fund.

“I encourage other donors, especially in emerging economies, to increase their contributions to this essential organisation,” Clinton said.

China has pledged $13-million to the Global Fund for 2013, the same amount given in 2012. Brazil has never given money to the fund, according to Global Fund pledge records.

Officials from the developing powerhouses did not respond to comments by Clinton or the panel's moderator that the Global Fund is in a “financial crisis”.

Dirceu Greco, Brazil's health official responsible for the fight against sexually transmitted diseases, told reporters that Brazil has donated $60-million to UNITAID, a World Health Organisation group that focuses on reducing prices for drugs to treat HIV and Aids, tuberculosis and malaria.

He added that international money is not necessarily the solution to the Aids epidemic.

“If we don't have country ownership, these other countries will not succeed,” Greco told reporters.

Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and another member of the panel, said it would be “befitting” of China's global leadership and economic development to increase contributions to the fund.

Zunyou Wu, director of China's National Office of the HIV/Aids Division, didn't respond to comments about China and the Global Fund during the panel.

Afterwards, Zunyou told reporters: “The Global Fund, the management itself needs to be improved.” - Sapa-dpa

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