The attention of the entire world appears to be focused on the bird flu pandemic that is expected to break out across the globe. AIDS which has already taken a toll of 25 million lives in as many years has failed to generate the same level of attention. The AIDS program does not even have the required funds to cope with the disease effectively.
The areas that are worst affected by AIDS are mostly poverty stricken African nations. The developed world is more concerned with the bird flu which has so far claimed less than 100 lives across the world. The US in particular has allocated an amount of US$ 7 billion towards research for a vaccine for the flu as its economic production can be cut down by 5% as a result of a possible flu epidemic. AIDS is mostly prevalent among homosexuals in the developed world, whereas in the developing world it is taking a heavy toll of the productive population, and it will also significantly impact the next generation.
In the year 2005 alone, there have been 5 million new infections. The insufficient attention that HIV/AIDS is getting reflects on the failure of the health policy, according to The Global AIDS Fund sources, wherein too little is being done too late.
The Global Fund is committed to fighting AIDS in 130 nations with 350 programs spending about US$ 4.4 billion. The Fund is also of the opinion that AIDS which affects the poorer countries should get as much attention as the bird flu. The flu epidemic is only anticipated, while AIDS is already a reality.
The national leadership of AIDS hit countries like Nigeria, Russia, India, Kenya, the Dominican Republic, and South Africa have been blamed for this by the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC) of South Africa. The World Health Organization (WHO) has already failed to provide 3 million people with anti-retroviral drugs by December 2005. The inadequate funding and the stigma attached with AIDS is also being blamed for this state of affairs.
Taiwan appears to be the only country which has handled both the diseases on an equal footing, even though the country has only 10,000 HIV cases.