Amsterdam, July 23: The 22nd edition of the International AIDS conference named AIDS2018 was set to begin in Amsterdam on Monday, July 23, and a number of international luminaries were set to attend the event, the theme of which is 'Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges'. The event will go on till July 27.
However, on the eve of the conference, experts raised an alarm. According to AFP, the AIDS epidemic could spiral out of control unless billions of extra dollars are not pumped into the mission against the deadly disease, the experts cautioned.
New infections that are growing at an alarming rate along with rising young population in badly affected countries give dangerous signals of the world heading towards "a crisis of epic proportions," Mark Dybul, an AIDS researcher and diplomat from the US, said, the AFP report added.
Dybul said while addressing a special event on the eve of the Amsterdam conference that paucity of funds will lead to "bad things", the report added.
He said countries were not paying enough attention to the problem of the epidemic they had once done or never did at all, AFP added.
Experts warned that domestic and donor funding to fight the menace has dropped alarmingly and it is likely to go further down. The current Donald Trump administration in the US proposed huge spending cuts though they have not passed through the Congress. If it went through, it would have been worse since the US is the biggest fund provider of global response against AIDS.
The gap between the need and supply of funding is almost $7 billion now, the AFP cited the UNAIDS executive director Michael Sidibe as saying and he warned that if we do not pay now, we would have to pay more and more in the coming days.
The successful rollout of life-saving and virus-suppressing medicines might have diverted the attention from the more crucial issues, the report cited the experts as saying.
Investment in condom distribution, a key part of the mechanism, has also dropped, Nduku Kilonzo of Kenya's National AIDS Control Council said, as per the report.