Global Fund has saved 17 million lives

23 September 2015
HIV counselling in Malawi

17 million lives have been saved through investments made by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) since its inception in 2002, as announced in their Results Report 2015 this week.

The Global Fund is a partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector, and people affected by the diseases. It invests US$4 billion a year to support programmes run by community-based organisations in countries and communities most in need.

In countries where the Global Fund operates, rates of new HIV infections fell by 36% between 2000 and 2014. Programmes funded by the Global Fund have provided HIV treatment access to 8.1 million people – a 22% increase on 2013. The number of women living with HIV receiving treatment for prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) also increased from 0.12 million in 2005 to 3.1 million in 2014. 5.1 billion condoms were also distributed and more than 22 million people were treated for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Tackling tuberculosis (TB) has also been a success, with TB death rates falling by 41% between 2000 and 2014. However, concerns remain about increases in rates of multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) in certain regions, which could threaten future gains.

Gender inequalities were highlighted as a barrier to health service access and a driver of epidemics. The Global Fund funding model is designed to maximise investments in programmes that reach women and girls, and estimates that 55% to 60% of its investments reach this group. The report also recognised the essential role of human rights in fighting these diseases. Investment was made in programmes that were human rights focused, and investment was cut for organisations that infringed these rights.

Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund said: “Advances in global health are transforming communities in ways that go way beyond what the numbers show.”

This week, world leaders will meet in New York to set the new Sustainable Development Goals for the next 15 years. The work of the Global Fund and its local partners has set an example of what is possible. Continued investment will be essential in the fight to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

Photo credit:
Photo by Baylor College of Medicine Children's Foundation–Malawi / Robbie Flick CC-BY