The chief of the UNAIDS agency said that the global contributions to fight AIDS has dropped for the first time in 15 years due to very difficult economic times.
"The world economic recession is pushing countries... to enforce austerity," UNAIDS chief Michel Sidibe said in Tokyo, calling on Japan to keep up its financial support to the public-private Global Fund.
The head of the United Nations agency has in recent days stressed the need for the international community to mobilize 10 billion dollars for universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.
"Governments and donors are second-guessing in terms of their budget and priorities," he told a Tokyo press conference. "For the first time in 15 years, we are seeing the global commitment beginning to falter."
Many patients, particularly in Africa, still struggle to receive expensive care that often requires skills of highly trained professionals, Sidibe said.
The creation of cheaper drugs and simpler treatment methods should save millions of people from dying of AIDS and HIV-related complications, the Mali official added.
Sidibe also called on the city of Tokyo, which saw 370 new infections last year, to aim to prevent all new infections in five years.