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Rapid scale-up of prevention and treatment needed to beat rising HIV infection numbers

21 November 2005

The Global Fund Can Drive Turn-around but Needs More Resources

Geneva - The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria welcomes the new UNAIDS/WHO "AIDS Epidemic Update" and shares the two organizations "guarded optimism" at the indications that infection rates are falling in some countries.

"It is heartening that we are witnessing a drop in infection rates in some countries," said Richard Feachem, Executive Director of the Global Fund. "This news is an affirmation that global investments and commitment can have an impact on the devastation of this disease. We must now accelerate the scale-up of prevention, testing, and treatment to keep pace with the growing epidemic."

The UNAIDS/WHO report released today shows that infection rates have decreased marginally in some African and Caribbean countries, but that the overall epidemic continues to rise and that total death figures have also risen despite 250,000 - 300,000 averted deaths due to wider access to antiretroviral treatment.

"The Global Fund is one of the principle financiers of AIDS interventions, with nearly US$ 2.5 billion invested in AIDS programs in more than 100 countries worldwide," continued Feachem. "However, global needs are far from met, and much more money needs to be channeled to fighting this global pandemic. For the Global Fund, this means that we urgently need the resources necessary to launch new rounds of financing in 2006 and 2007."

The Global Fund needs US$ 7.1 billion for 2006-2007 combined, but has so far received only pledges of US$ 3.8 billion for the two-year period.

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