Fight against HIV is winnable, but far from won

Sustainable funding for HIV needed to meet needs of people living with HIV but without treatment

Continued financing of treatment programmes is essential to get effective, affordable HIV medicines to the 28.6 million people currently needing HIV medicines, two out of three of whom live without the treatment they vitally need, according to Greg Perry, Executive Director of the Medicines Patent Pool.

Funding mechanisms such as the Global Fund, UNITAID, and PEPFAR provide the financial support for HIV treatment programmes. An outpouring of donor financing for these organisations has been instrumental in the scale up of treatment that currently allows 9.7 million people to live longer, healthier lives.

The Medicines Patent Pool’s work to bring down the price of HIV treatments and stimulate the development of new formulations has been another vital step in the process. But translating the lower prices the MPP delivers into accessible, available treatments depends on treatment providers having the finances to do their work.

The need for sustained financing of the HIV response has never been clearer. This is especially so with recent evidence indicating that the early access to treatment recommended by the WHO can dramatically reduce transmission of HIV, acting not only to save lives but also prevent the spread of the virus.

Mr Perry said: “The fight against HIV is winnable as long as we can deliver widespread access to quality, effective medicines. But when less than one in three of the people living with HIV actually has access to treatment, now is clearly not the time to scale back the international community’s efforts in fighting HIV.”

“Treatment has still not reached 18.9 million people according to UNAIDS – that is a population bigger than the Netherlands who should be benefiting from effective treatments available today, and yet do not have access to them.”

“So, today, on World AIDS Day, the Medicines Patent Pool calls on the international community to continue financing HIV treatment programmes, especially by committing to fully replenish the Global Fund on 2-3 December when its partners meet in Washington DC.”

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