Deaths from AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria could double due to COVID-19

A close up of a person's hand holding a blue pill © Gemma Taylor for Frontline AIDS
People living with HIV rely on daily antiretroviral treatment to stay healthy.

Today’s report from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, warns that deaths from these three health issues could almost double within a year unless urgent action is taken during the COVID-19 crisis.

Christine Stegling, executive director at Frontline AIDS said:

“We share the deep concern expressed in this report. Even before the COVID-19 crisis, the world was failing to deliver on global HIV and TB targets, and HIV prevention continues to be in crisis. The new pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic are already slowing progress further, and risk losing the gains the world has made on HIV and TB in recent years.

“In many countries, we are seeing resources diverted from the HIV and TB responses to COVID-19.  People living with HIV and TB are finding their treatment providers closed, and in some countries, supply chains are no longer functioning. This is a catastrophe waiting to happen, but it is avoidable. It’s vital that governments worldwide urgently recognise HIV and TB prevention and treatment as essential, and act fast to ensure that they have enough staff, resources and supplies to continue uninterrupted HIV and TB services during the pandemic.”

Hundreds of HIV organisations have already signed Frontline AIDS’ global call to action, calling on governments, donors and UN agencies to:

  • Sustain the progress the world has made on ending AIDS,
  • Adapt community responses to HIV to tackle COVID-19, and
  • Protect human rights, especially for the communities most affected by HIV and AIDS.


The Global Fund