09 July 2008
Geneva, July 9 – The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria welcomes the commitment shown by Group of Eight (G8) leaders meeting in Hokkaido, Japan to meet the goal of universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support by 2010 and to spend a projected US$ 60 billion over five years to fight infectious diseases and strengthen health systems.
In reiterating these goals, the G8 continues to help raise international awareness of global health issues and of the need to scale up resources devoted to combating infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
The Global Fund in particular welcomes the acknowledgement by G8 leaders that investment through the Global Fund, combined with national efforts, bilateral and other HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programs, have made it possible to save more than 2.5 million lives.
The Global Fund also notes the G8’s decision, as part of its commitment to fight malaria, to provide 100 million insecticide-treated bed nets (ITNs) through bilateral and multilateral assistance by the end of 2010. Programs financed by the Global Fund have already given out 59 million ITNs and the Global Fund has the financing to distribute another 49 million nets, taking the total to 108 million. It estimates that future programs approved before 2010 could add another 100 million nets to the current figure, going a long way to filling the current gap.
However, a report prepared for G8 leaders by health experts said that although progress has been made in increasing rates of detection and treatment for tuberculosis, the Global Plan to Stop TB is still off track. The plan aims to cut TB deaths by half by 2015. The Global Fund encourages developing countries to take advantage of its additional funding round this year to submit ambitious proposals for TB control, as well as for AIDS and malaria.
Finally, the Global Fund particularly welcomes support shown by G8 leaders for work, already under way, to review travel restrictions for HIV-positive people and their commitment to pursue this issue.