Former US president Bill Clinton and Microsoft founder Bill Gates called on HIV/AIDS organizations Monday to deliver their services more efficiently in the wake of the global economic crisis, DPA reported.
At the biennial International AIDS Conference in Vienna which both men were addressing, advocates have warned that the United States and other countries might lower their funding in the fight against the global virus epidemic.
"Every dollar we waste today puts a life at risk," said Clinton.
Both he and Gates have started foundations that are major players in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
"Our first task is to scale up prevention efforts that are cheap, efficient and easy to apply," Gates said.
He called for pursuing male circumcision, for making health institutions more efficient, and for the use of simpler HIV tests.
The software billionaire criticized governments in Eastern Europe and elsewhere for not making policies based on proven efficient strategies, such as needle exchange for drug users.
"Instead they make them based on fear and stigma," he said.
Clinton said organizations waste too much money on sending Western experts to affected countries and on producing reports, he said.
The former politician asked non-governmental groups not to criticize US President Barack Obama for being constrained by the current economic realities.
"You can demonstrate and call the president names, or you can get some more votes in Congress to get some more money," he said. "My experience is that the second choice is a better one and far likelier to pay off."
The Clinton Foundation helps to lower treatment costs for HIV/AIDS and to build up health services to provide such treatment.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is one of the biggest contributors to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which finances HIV/AIDS treatment around the globe.