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January 5, 2011

HIV/AIDS: Fund Rejection Worries Health Campaigners

IPS Inter Press Service – Telling Africa’s Untold Stories: "The proposal focused heavily on tackling transmission of HIV from mother to child by providing lifelong HIV/AIDS treatment to all HIV-positive pregnant women. Malawi had hoped to scale up its ARVs roll-out from 287,000 to 537,000 by the end of the funding year.

"Malawi had also planned to scale up voluntary male circumcision to help slow down the HIV infection rate that has stagnated at 12 percent since 2007. Nearly one million men could have been circumcised within the implementation period.

"Mkawa said no reasons were given for the rejection of the proposal. 'We are yet to receive the reasons as to why the proposal has been turned down by the world body,' she told local journalists. However, to some the rejection hasn't come as a surprise.

"Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), an international humanitarian aid organisation better known as Doctors Without Borders, had warned in an article on its website on December 8 that due to budget shortfalls, several African countries 'may be disqualified from HIV/AIDS funding in the near future'."