Global Fund has saved millions of lives – but we can’t give up on prevention
Results published this week by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria show that – despite extraordinary progress in reducing AIDS deaths worldwide – the world must work harder than ever to end the epidemic for good, especially now faced with the threat of COVID-19.
Christine Stegling, Executive Director at Frontline AIDS, said:
“The Global Fund partnership, of which we are proud to be a part, has made significant progress in tackling HIV worldwide, and has saved a phenomenal 38 million lives since its inception. These are exceptional results, and yet despite years of significant and sustained effort, we are nowhere near ending the epidemic.
“While last year the Global Fund expanded its reach on HIV prevention, globally prevention is stalling. 1.7 million people still contract HIV every year; that figure isn’t coming down and in some regions we are starting to see the infection rate creeping up. Now, with the world’s attention focused firmly on COVID-19 and with prevention services shut and funding at risk of being diverted, we are deeply concerned that we will see hard-won progress go into reverse.
“More than half of new HIV infections are now among marginalised groups, including gay men and other men who have sex with men, transgender people, sex workers and people who use drugs. In too many countries around the world, these groups are frozen out of HIV prevention efforts, and the Global Fund has a vital role to play in addressing this. Millions are being left behind, many of them in situations made all the more precarious by COVID-19.
“Global leadership on prevention is needed now more than ever, and we are looking to the Global Fund to significantly step up its contribution to HIV prevention through its new strategy. As part of this, we need donors and national governments to increase their investments in order to sustain the extraordinary results that have been achieved. We have come so far and we must keep going.”
The Global Fund