The world’s best mechanism for funding the fight against infectious diseases, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, has just released the target for its Seventh Replenishment – at least $18 billion. With the goal set, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) urges donor countries to step up and meet or exceed it at the replenishment conference slated for the latter half of this year.
“This target is a step in the right direction for helping to correct the damage done by COVID-19 in fighting these three deadly diseases,” said AHF President Michael Weinstein. “It’s also encouraging that resources for pandemic preparedness are included in the new goal—an aspect of global public health AHF has advocated for the Fund to take on throughout this new pandemic. Leaders of the world’s wealthiest nations must ensure this upcoming replenishment is a success. The world simultaneously must make up the ground we’ve lost fighting HIV, TB and malaria and prepare for the inevitable next infectious disease outbreak.”
COVID-19 has affected the fight against HIV, TB and malaria in a number of ways, some of which may not be fully apparent for some time; therefore, sustained support remains vital. The Global Fund reported an 11% decline in HIV prevention programs and services in 2020. HIV testing also decreased by 22%, delaying HIV treatment initiation in most countries. The number of HIV-positive TB patients on antiretroviral treatment and TB treatment also decreased by 16%.
The task at hand may be daunting, but The Global Fund has proven its capacity through its history of delivering lifesaving results while exemplifying the utmost transparency and accountability. It’s time the world heeded the lessons learned over the past two-plus years of COVID-19 and give the Global Fund the resources it needs to protect everyone from the deadliest infectious diseases.