U2 lead-singer Bono is highlighting how the world economic slump is having a tangential impact on the much-needed funding for the arrest of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).
He spoke at Sydney’s Opera House - at the launch of World Aids day on December 1st – stating that “times are hard for the western world” before continuing that agencies charged with funding the fight against the disease were finding it increasingly difficult to get the financial support they were regularly receiving in the past.
More funding needed
He stressed that more funding was necessary to meet the target set by the Global Fund, which is trying to curb the transmission of the disease from infected mothers to their unborn offspring. He encouraged citizens to lobby their politicians to provide for this fund and to start promoting awareness once again.
He stated: “I think actually the spirit of [Australia], the pioneering spirit of this country, is what it's going to take to win against this winnable war.
Stimulate the political and public will
“We know that with this kind of political will and this kind of interest by the general public we do know that we can eradicate it.”
Bono and the Global Fund are hoping that the generations of 2015 and beyond won’t know what it is like to suffer from AIDS.
The disease, which according to UNAIDS, affected 33.3 million people world-wide in 2009, was first diagnosed in the early eighties. It compromises the immune system and leaves it susceptible to infections, which can lead to death. For all the promotional efforts put in to educate people about the disease, the number of sufferers increases year on year; the number of affected individuals in 1999 was 26 million; this highlights how endemic and dangerous the disease really is.