G8 nations pledge support for HIV prevention strategies
In a final report, leaders of the G8 nations who gathered in St. Petersburg, Russia from July 15-17 pledged continued support for HIV prevention, treatment, and care, highlighting in particular the development of AIDS vaccines and microbicides as priorities in the fight against the pandemic. The need for vaccines to prevent other diseases that increase an individual's risk of HIV infection was also emphasized.
Other strategies promoted in the document on infectious diseases, one of the three areas considered during the meeting, included expanding the partnerships with developing countries to bolster capacity for research and development and ensuring that qualified healthcare workers are available in these regions. The leaders also endorsed the Russian proposal to form a regional center in Eastern Europe and Central Asia to promote AIDS vaccine development.
Russia also announced that it would repay US$270 million that it received from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, to further provision of treatment and care to HIV-infected individuals in developing countries. The Fund is currently in need of $1 billion to meet its present commitments.