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Government abandons HIV battle

 

The Government has zipped up its wallet and walked away from the battle against HIV, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.

 

“The Government’s decision not to fund an important study is both reckless and short-sighted. Official documents make it clear that this was for ‘short term cost savings’.

“The failure to fund the GAPSS/GOSS study deprives health professionals of the ability to spot new trends in diagnosis and also runs counter to World Health Organisation guidelines.

 

“When you add into this a freeze on funding for the NZ Aids Foundation which has seen the organisation mortgage its Auckland office, you know things are getting desperate. That freeze has meant that three full time roles have been lost at the Foundation.

 

Auckland Sexual Health services have also had their funding cut by 15 per cent because the District Health Board has had to make $42 million in cuts this year. This has mean the loss of another two full time doctors.

 

“What makes all of this even more disappointing is this comes at a time when HIV infections are trending upwards.

 

“The Government is again abrogating its duty to Public Health and quietly walking away from the goal to end HIV infection by 2025. Once again the $1.7 billion hole in the Health budget is biting,” says David Clark.