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International AIDS Conference First Global Fund Grants Make Possible, Six-Fold Increase in ARV Treatment in Africa

07 July 2002

First Global Fund Grants Make Possible Six-Fold Increase in ARV Treatment in Africa

Multiyear Grants Will Double Number of People Treated in Developing Countries; Shows That Countries Are Ready for Further Exponential Increases

"Billions More Dollars Needed Now For More Prevention and Treatment"; Says Global Fund Board Member Milly Katana

International AIDS Conference – Grants recently awarded by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria will make it possible over the next five years for twice as many people in developing countries to receive anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment, and represent a six-fold increase over the current provision of ARVs in Africa.

This progress demonstrates the impact the Global Fund will have as it disburses its first grants and signals the exponential scale of contribution to both prevention and treatment programmes it will make in future rounds.

In its first round of proposal review, the Global Fund approved the financing of programmes that will expand ARV treatment to over 220,000 people living with HIV/AIDS over five years, doubling the current number of people who now have access to these medicines in developing countries. Over 60% of that expansion is planned for 10 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, including South Africa. UNAIDS estimates that 230,000 people are currently being treated with ARVs in developing countries, with only 30,000 being treated in Africa.

“This is a catalytic and tangible first step,” said Milly Katana, Global Fund Board member representing non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in developing countries. “It is just the beginning of much more that can be done to support people who have been fighting this plague with unlimited courage while lacking any other weapons. Billions more dollars are needed now for more prevention and treatment measures, and we are depending on a caring and generous world to help.”

According to UNAIDS, 96% of the 40 million adults and children living with HIV/AIDS are in developing countries, an additional 45 million may be infected by HIV by the end of the decade, and up to 70 million people could die of AIDS by 2020. Yet in developing countries less than 1% of those infected have access to ARVs and Africa alone faces a shortfall of 2 billion condoms. The World Health Organization has announced a goal of reaching 3 million, or 50% of those in need of ARVs, by 2005. The Global Fund’s first grants are an important first step towards meeting this goal.

The Global Fund approved, in its first grant review proposals, spending US$ 1.6 billion over five years to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. The Board immediately committed US$ 616 million for the first two years of approved programmes. Over 60% of the total financing is for Africa, and nearly 70% is for HIV/AIDS. The funds will support the full range of “best practice” interventions.

“The Fund balances its contribution to providing ARVs with an equally remarkable commitment to prevention,” said Paolo Teixeira, Global Fund Board member representing Latin America and the Caribbean. “Not a single HIV/AIDS proposal, including those with treatment components, was approved that did not have at the forefront proven prevention interventions – including the distribution of condoms and clean needles, the prevention of vertical transmission from mothers to their children, and the building of voluntary counselling and testing centres."

According to studies published in The Lancet and Science, 30 million HIV infections can be averted by 2010 if prevention programmes receive immediate support for scaled interventions such as the distribution and use of 6 billion condoms annually. All of the proposals approved by the Global Fund for HIV/AIDS include money for prevention.

The proposal process is a major early success for the Global Fund, created in January of this year. Since that time, the Global Fund has:

Catalysed the creation of country-led mechanisms which brings donors and governments together with NGOs, people living with HIV/AIDS, faith-based groups and the private sector to plan and boldly implement new responses to diseases of poverty.

Stimulated the development of over 300 proposals which translate strategic planning to detailed operational plans with immediate programmatic capacity to spend money on programmes to fight HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria.

Approved an unparalleled volume of grants which will give funds directly to implementing partners, including NGOs, to quickly reach vulnerable populations most affected by HIV/AIDS and most as risk for HIV infection.

Launched a second round of proposals on July 2 for submission by late September, after which the Global Fund hopes to approve programmes in many of the countries not receiving commitments in the first round. The Global Fund applauds the parallel and complementary efforts of other international organizations – including bilateral and multilateral agencies, foundations and NGOs – which are making money available to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. The Global Fund looks forward to the substantial contributions it will make to this global response with its upcoming proposal rounds.

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria is an independent, public-private partnership working to attract, manage and disburse new resources to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, and to rapidly disburse these funds to effective prevention and treatment programmes in the countries with greatest need.

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