24 July 2012

Africa: Global Fund Results Show Broad Gains

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria announced new results today that show a significant increase in treatment of HIV and in the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

The results show that 3.6 million people living with HIV are now receiving anti-retroviral treatment under programs backed by the Global Fund, an increase of 600,000 since the end of 2010.

Overall, 8.7 million lives have been saved by programs supported by the Global Fund since the organization was formed in 2002.The results include data through June, 2012.

The success in expanding treatment for HIV in developing countries has been achieved by effective efforts by health workers in countries with a high disease burden, the commitment of donors, and reduction in the cost of drugs, among other factors. A year's supply of first-line anti-retroviral drugs costs today less than $100 per person for the least expensive regimen recommended by the WHO, from more than $10,000 in 2000.

However, financial support for effective drugs is only part of the solution. Preventing and treating HIV requires extensive efforts by health and community workers - persuading high-risk people to be tested, and counselling patients on treatment - and can only work by strengthening health and community systems. The engagement and support of civil society organizations have also been crucial to the successful implementation of Global Fund grants and their achievements.

By mid-2012, the results show an increase in the number of pregnant women living with HIV who have received a complete course of antiretroviral treatment under programs supported by the Global Fund to 1.5 million.

"As we focus our resources to increase impact, preventing mother-to-child transmission is an area where we are achieving great success," said Gabriel Jaramillo, General Manager of the Global Fund. "These results show that creating an AIDS-free generation is now possible, but only if we push harder to get there."

The results also show that the number of HIV testing and counselling sessions provided by Global Fund-supported programs rose by 43 per cent in the 18 months since December 2010 to 210 million.

Massive strides have also been made in the fight against malaria, with 115 million insecticide-treated bed-nets distributed in the past 18 months alone under programs backed by the Global Fund, taking the total number of nets distributed to 270 million. The number of cases of malaria treated has risen by more than half in the same period to 260 million.

Global Fund-supported TB programs continued to expand. Recipients of Global Fund financing have cumulatively detected and treated 9.3 million smear-positive cases of TB, an increase of 21 per cent from 2010 to mid-2012. They have also more than doubled the number of TB/HIV services, such as screening for co-infections, delivered over the same period.

Together with the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, PEPFAR, the Global Fund is one of the leading international financial supporters for HIV prevention and treatment. The Global Fund provided 21 per cent of total international investments for HIV and AIDS in 2009, the latest year for which data is available. The Global Fund was also the main source of international funding in 52 of the 92 recipient countries that have reported financial data to UNAIDS.

The Global Fund will invest up to US$8 billion in grants to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria over the coming 20 months, US$5 billion of it in Africa.

The Global Fund is a unique, public-private partnership and international financing institution dedicated to attracting and disbursing additional resources to prevent and treat HIV and AIDS, TB and malaria. This partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector and affected communities represents an innovative approach to international health financing. The Global Fund's model is based on the concepts of country ownership and performance-based funding, which means that people in countries implement their own programs based on their priorities and the Global Fund provides financing on the condition that verifiable results are achieved.

Since its creation in 2002, the Global Fund has become the main financier of programs to fight AIDS, TB and malaria, with approved funding of US$ 23 billion for more than 1,000 programs in 151 countries (as of mid-2012). To date, programs supported by the Global Fund are providing AIDS treatment for 3.6 million people, anti-tuberculosis treatment for 9.3 million people and 270 million insecticide-treated nets for the prevention of malaria. The Global Fund works in close collaboration with other bilateral and multilateral organizations to supplement existing efforts in dealing with the three diseases.

Information on the work of the Global Fund is available at www.theglobalfund.org

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