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The Global Fund welcomes UK's comprehensive HIV/AIDS plan

13 January 2005

Calls for Early Launch of the IFF

Geneva - The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria hailed today's speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown laying out a UK proposal for a comprehensive global plan to combat HIV/AIDS as a far-sighted, balanced and sound strategy which - if fully implemented - could break the AIDS pandemic.

"AIDS is not unbeatable," said Professor Richard Feachem, Executive Director of the Global Fund. "It is not a natural catastrophe we have to endure. But to get on top of this pandemic, we need to think big and act boldly. We need to invest up front. Unless we reach a high threshold of action and financing, our efforts are wasted. Gordon Brown's ideas are big and bold - just what we need to win the war against this virus. "

The core element in the Chancellor's speech of frontloading development assistance through an International Finance Facility is seen as particularly useful. HIV/AIDS is a prime example of the need to front load development assistance. Contrary to recent claims in the media that development assistance is not effective, investments against HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases produce measurable, concrete results in terms of lives saved and reduced health costs. A recent study shows that with an effective combination of prevention and treatment programs, 29 million new infections can be prevented by 2020 in Africa alone, saving 10 million lives and reducing annual health expenditures by at least $3 billion.

"Without the IFF, we cannot conquer AIDS, TB or malaria, and we cannot achieve the other Millennium Development Goals," stressed Professor Feachem.

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