The US plans to cut its funding for HIV treatment in South Africa by more than R5bn, saying the country’s fight against Aids is “grossly sub-optimal”, reports The Times. The US government, under the US President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR), donated $750m – more than R10bn – to South Africa for the 2018/19 year. The current year under the funding began in October 2018 and ends in September. But, the report says, only $400m (about R5.7bn) is on the table for 2019 to 2020.
US Global Aids co-ordinator Dr Deborah Birx is on a two-week tour of South Africa and neighbouring states, meeting with government officials and health organisations. In a scathing PEPFAR letter ahead of Birx’s trip, US officials expressed their disappointment that more people in South Africa had quit their ARV treatment in 2018 than the number of newly diagnosed people who had started taking antiretrovirals. ….more