Statement from Health GAP on the release of new data on the state of the global AIDS epidemic
July 18, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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Asia Russell, Executive Director of the Health Global Access Project (Health GAP) issued the following statement:
“The global AIDS response is profoundly off track. This harsh reality is the consequence of major funders, in particular the U.S. government, refusing to invest in life-saving funding increases, exacerbating scandalous inequities in treatment and prevention access that are leaving millions of people waiting for life-saving services.
“Powerful HIV treatment and prevention tools mean we can defeat HIV—but the full impact of these tools is out of reach. The effects of seven years of deadly U.S. flat funding, European governments abdicating their donor commitments, and countries around the world refusing to realize the human rights of people with HIV and communities at greatest risk of stigma, discrimination, and criminalization mean a grave risk that the AIDS response will fall irreversibly off track.”
The UNAIDS report, released today ahead of the opening of the 22nd International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam on July 23, 2018, points to grave trends, such as:
- The world will miss the global treatment target for 2020 unless treatment enrollment is accelerated to reach at least 2.8 million adults and children per year—a five fold increase in the pace of treatment scale up;
- Funding shortfalls mean people at greatest risk are being denied life-saving services. In Mozambique for example, a country representing 16% of new HIV infections and 18% of AIDS-related deaths in East and Southern Africa, fewer than than half of all geographic locations with highest HIV incidence were covered by intensive HIV prevention interventions targeting adolescent girls and young women, due to insufficient funding from PEPFAR (the U.S. government’s global AIDS program) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
- At least $5.4 billion in additional funding is needed to accelerate to achieve global treatment and prevention goals by 2020. In April 2018, Health GAP released a report providing new analysis on the devastating impact of years of U.S. flat funding, focusing on the widening gap between the need for life-saving HIV treatment and prevention and the resources available to end AIDS.
- In the high burden region of East and Southern Africa, which has seen the bulk of global progress in HIV treatment scale up, declines in AIDS-related deaths have not accelerated and deaths from AIDS among men in sub saharan Africa are no longer declining (an estimated 303,000 AIDS deaths in 2016 and 300,000 AIDS deaths in 2017)
- In West and Central Africa, massive HIV treatment coverage gaps require an emergency response. Instead, this region has suffered substantial cuts in funding from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
About Health GAP: Health GAP is an international advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring that all people living with HIV have access to affordable life sustaining medicines. Our team pairs pragmatic policy work with audacious grassroots action to win equitable access to treatment, care and prevention for people living with and affected by HIV worldwide. We are dedicated to eliminating barriers to universal access to affordable life sustaining medicines for people living with HIV/AIDS as key to a comprehensive strategy to confront and ultimately stop the AIDS pandemic. We believe that the human right to life and to health must prevail over the pharmaceutical industry's excessive profits and expanding patent rights.