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In 2008, the world spent more than $15 billion on AIDS, with about half of that coming from the United States. In its report, UNAIDS said that “what’s been good for the AIDS response has been good for global health in general.”

But a study published last month found there was little correlation between U.S. money spent on AIDS and improvements in other health areas across Africa.

UNAIDS urged countries to invest more in their own HIV programs. It noted South Africa and Nigeria, two of Africa’s wealthiest countries, receive the most money from international donors.

Mr. Stevens said that while some recent AIDS investments — like putting more people on drugs — have clearly saved lives, it also has distorted health spending. Despite only causing 4 percent of deaths, AIDS gets about 20 cents of every public health dollar.

“The same amount of money that we spend on AIDS could save many, many more lives more cheaply by vaccinating children or distributing cheap treatments for diarrhea,” he said.

“Aid agencies have a responsibility to ensure they save the most lives possible with the amount of money they have available,” he said. “Spending the lion’s share on HIV clearly does not do that.”

AP Medical writer Marilynn Marchione contributed from Milwaukee.