World Bank calls for stepped up anti-HIV efforts in Africa

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AIDS ribbon

African governments, development partners and donors have been urged to intensify efforts to prevent HIV as national treatment programmes for AIDS could become unsustainable in the future.

That warning comes from the World Bank in a report released on Tuesday.

An estimated six million people worldwide receive antiretroviral therapy, more than five million of whom are in Africa.

Dianne Penn has the story.

The World Bank says African countries could face "an unmanageable fiscal burden" if there isn't a "dramatic reduction" in HIV infections on the continent.

For example, it says, Swaziland, which has the world's highest prevalence of HIV, is expected to devote 7.3 per cent of GDP to AIDS programmes by 2020.

Global AIDS spending has jumped from under $300 million in 1996 to nearly $16 billion in 2009, according to the World Bank.

The World Bank believes that curbing new HIV infections and improving fiscal planning can lead to a considerable drop in the financial commitment needed to fund an effective national AIDS response.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration:  48″

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