#WorldAidsDay - There's Urgent Need to Invest in HIV Prevention

As Africa commemorates World Aids Day on December 1, Frontline Aids reports that a new set of HIV prevention and accountability reports, developed by community partners in India and nine countries in Africa, show that while governments have made important progress in reducing the number of people newly acquiring HIV, most are still not investing enough in HIV prevention.

Many governments are still reluctant to make much-needed changes to remove barriers to prevention methods and treatment for those most affected by HIV, including men who have sex with men, transgender people, sex workers, people who use drugs and adolescent girls and young women.

However, South Africans are reportedly living longer due to the government's dedication to HIV programmes. Antiretroviral treatment is available in most of the country's public sector clinics. In many areas, a pick-up point service allows patients to receive treatment closer to home. This is valuable for those who live far from clinics and cannot afford transport.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is joining international partners to acknowledge the resilience, dedication and innovation exemplified by community leaders and organisations in the response to the HIV epidemic. From fighting stigma and discrimination, to advocating for access to affordable interventions, and community-led services that put people with lived experience at the centre, communities have shaped the HIV response for decades.

Domestic financing for HIV prevention and Abuja Declaration targets Our reports show that funding from international donors remains the highest contributor to HIV prevention in Africa, especially for programmes aimed at key population communities, such as men who have sex with men, transgender people, sex workers and people who use and inject drugs. Beyond HIV prevention, governments of all nine African countries analysed in our reports are falling far short of meeting the target to spend 15% of their national budgets on health, as set out within the Abuja Declaration. This reliance on international donors threatens the sustainability of the HIV prevention response, particularly now with international funding for HIV decreasing and a number of donor countries cutting their aid budgets, or reallocating aid to other areas. It also raises questions about each governments’ commitment to ending AIDS as a public health priority.


Delegates pose for a group photo as Rwanda marks World AIDS Day in Kigali, November 30.

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