Reproductive health funding will help fight aids (Nov)

16 February 2009

Media Releases 2009

30 November 2005

More funding for reproductive health services will help combat the

scourge of AIDS, according to Sustainable Population Australia inc (SPA).

On the eve of World Aids Day, SPA National president Ms Jenny Goldie says

couples need better access to condoms and other safe, affordable measures

that have the dual role of stopping unwanted pregnancies and of spreading


“The seven most seriously AIDS-affected countries are all in sub-Saharan

Africa,” says Ms Goldie. “They are amongst the poorest countries of the

world and have had only limited success in the past 30 years of improving

contraceptive access.

“Yet lowering fertility can reduce poverty especially when combined with

social and economic policies,” she says. “If people are lifted out of

poverty, they may then be able to afford the antiretroviral drugs that

keep people alive in richer countries.”

According to the Washington-based Worldwatch Institute, women and girls

increasingly bear the HIV burden because of the high-risk behaviour of

their partners. Forty five percent of those afflicted by AIDS are women

and, by 2003, 15 million children had been orphaned by the disease.

“Global funding for HIV/AIDS tripled between 2001 and 2004 to $6.1

billion, allowing much better access to AIDS education and prevention and

care services. Nevertheless, much more needs to be committed so access to

drugs is affordable for all,” says Ms Goldie.

“Spending on HIV/AIDS is essential and must be increased, but it must be

part of a comprehensive reproductive health care package. Education about

HIV/AIDS must incorporate information about how couples can control their

own fertility.”

Further information: Jenny Goldie 0401 921 453


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