Investments in women and girls
We have been steadily increasing our investments in programs for women and girls. US$105 million of US$200 million in catalytic funding for HIV has been allocated for prevention, including matching funds to leverage even greater investment in programs for key populations and adolescent girls and young women. We are also expanding our investments to support malaria control efforts and strengthen access to antenatal care. In 2018, 719,000 mothers received medicine to prevent transmitting HIV to their babies in countries where the Global Fund invests.
The Global Fund has increased investments by more than five-fold to reduce HIV incidence among adolescent girls and young women in 13 priority African countries. An innovative matching funds program launched in 2017 used US$55 million to mobilize an additional US$140 million for programs to reduce new HIV infections, violence, and unintended pregnancies among 1 million adolescent girls and young women in the 13 countries. Our partnership approach supports national governments and communities to work with women’s rights organizations, schools, donors, private sector companies, and technical partners.
Interventions that support women and girls in gaining access to health services vary by country. For example, in Afghanistan, the Global Fund is investing in female community health nurses, supporting them to deliver TB prevention and care to women in remote communities who otherwise cannot visit health facilities without the escort of a male relative. In Lesotho, the Global Fund has invested in the development of National Guidelines for Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV, as well as in integrating sexual and reproductive health with HIV services so that women can access both services in one place.
Other investments focus on education, which can be a powerful tool in preventing HIV among adolescent girls. A study showed that secondary school students in Botswana who stayed in school for an additional year had an 8% lower risk of HIV infection about a decade later.
Our funding model supports programs designed to reach women and girls with comprehensive health services. In particular, we encourage countries to link HIV services with reproductive health services, newborn and pediatric care, and adolescent health services.