Anti-poverty advocate Bob Geldof criticizes global response to HIV

Anti-poverty campaigner Bob Geldof told delegates at the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia, on Thursday that the hesitation of governments to fund HIV programs in developing countries is "disgraceful."

Geldof said funding those programs is especially crucial as the campaign to end HIV is in the "last mile," according to an International AIDS Society press release.

Geldof also said that the HIV epidemic in low income countries is linked to poverty. The anti-poverty advocate criticized wealthy nations for not following through with foreign aid commitments.

Geldof toured the Global Village, the conference's international showcase of community-related HIV programs. The Village included theatrical and dance performances, film screenings, fashion shows and discussions on a variety of issues.

The theme of the AIDS Conference was "making the long term short term." Activities at the conference began with plenary presentations about fast tracking the world's response to HIV.

A special session explored the escalating HIV epidemic in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The discussion included representatives from Russia, Lithuania and Moldova.

Sessions also included discussions on the trend of HIV transmission in prisons, strategies for making workplaces more inclusive for those living with HIV and the challenges of being transgender in Asia and the Pacific.