The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is not renewing its financial support for Russian HIV/AIDS prevention programs, The Moscow Times reports. The Global Fund provided $260 million between 2004 and 2011. Prevention and support programs supported primarily by the Global Fund have had to cut services and staff, and many face the prospect of closure. The Russian government has promised to increase funding for prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS. However, advocates doubt that organizations will receive the promised money, given that less than 150 million rubles of 2011’s 500 million ruble prevention budget was spent. Russian health policies raise additional worries, as officials refuse to focus on high-risk groups such as sex workers, men who have sex with men (MSM) and intravenous drug users, while rejecting harm-reduction techniques such as methadone treatment that are known to reduce the spread of HIV.
To read the Moscow Times article, click here.