The ACTION global health partnership applauds the U.S. Government for its leadership on creating a comprehensive plan to make the end of AIDS a reality, and recognizing the critical role of addressing tuberculosis (TB) to end the global HIV/AIDS epidemic.
U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and Ambassador Eric Goosby, U.S. Global Aids Coordinator, released the PEPFAR Blueprint for creating an AIDS-free generation today, detailing the next phase of the country’s global response to HIV/AIDS.
The Blueprint clearly articulates we cannot end AIDS without addressing tuberculosis, responsible for one in four HIV-related deaths. The first action step in their "smart investment" priority is to target HIV-associated tuberculosis and reduce deaths from TB and HIV.
“The Blueprint is an exciting and unprecedented step forward in the fight against these global killers, which together have killed millions of people,” said Kolleen Bouchane, ACTION Director. “This Blueprint is the best piece of policy on TB and TB-HIV that I have ever seen, and I am excited to see it become part of more aggressive global efforts towards the end of AIDS and zero TB deaths.”
While the Blueprint’s plan is comprehensive, it will not be possible without funding. In the U.S., investment in programs to address TB-HIV co-infection has stagnated at just over two percent of PEPFAR funding, despite TB’s status as the leading killer of people with HIV. Globally, the World Health Organization predicted there will be a $3 billion gap in funding to cover TB care and control over the next three years.
The Blueprint’s strong support of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria is commendable, but this endorsement must translate into concrete financial support. A fully-funded Global Fund is essential to making the goals and plans of ending AIDS and TB reality. At the Global Fund replenishment conference in fall 2013, all donor countries must pledge strong financial support to the Fund over the next three years.
“The Blueprint is a clear signal to the European Union to increase its support for health in low and middle income countries and especially to fight AIDS and TB. As EU members states negotiate the new EU budget, one of the biggest development budgets in the world, they should invest fully in existing Global Fund programs, and funding for ambitious scale-up, new technologies, and other life-saving innovations,” noted Patrick Bertrand, Executive Director of Global Health Advocates France, an ACTION partner.