Health, HIV and AIDS

Date: November 8, 2010
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Cape Town – The South African Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS yesterday called on the government to lead discussions with the private sector to find new ways to finance the fight against the disease.

SA has one of the world’s worst HIV/AIDS epidemics, with an estimated 5.7-million people infected. While SA is one of the few African countries able to afford to commit significant funds, the government is also dependent on the assistance of external donors such as the US Presidential Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

Brad Mears, the coalition’s CEO, said the global recession has led to international donors reducing their contributions to agencies such as the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, raising fear about the long-term sustainability of external funding for SA. The South African private sector could help bridge that gap, he said.

“Can we not pair donor funding with that of private equity to provide the capital injection needed to address human capacity constraints and develop much-needed infrastructure development?” he asked.

He wondered whether the government, perhaps under the leadership of departments like trade and industry, finance and health, could lead discussions with the private sector in this regard.



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