As the donor community hems and haws about its commitment to robust funding for global AIDS programs, one nagging question among HIV experts and advocates has been, what will happen to voluntary counseling and testing programs if there’s not enough money to provide treatment for those who test positive?
If patients realize they won’t be able to access adequate follow-up care, they may decide against getting tested in the first place. And if fewer people get tested, the scope of the AIDS epidemic could mushroom, as people who don’t know their HIV status behave as if they’re not infected.
These questions seem particularly pertinent today in the wake of news that Ugandan health officials are investigating whether 17 HIV-positive patients died in that country because of their inability to access antiretroviral drugs. The story reports that after Uganda launched a massive HIV testing campaign, 100,000 new HIV patients were registered. But funding has remained level. Click here to read the full article.