At the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria’s 7th Replenishment pledging conference, hosted by the U.S., funders came together this week to mobilize $14.25 billion, the largest amount ever amassed to fight the three diseases.  

“We are proud of the U.S.’s continued leadership in Replenishment,” said Katie Coester, Global AIDS Policy Partnership (GAPP) Co-Chair. “We thank the Biden Administration for its commitment to the fight against HIV/AIDS, for the catalytic role it played in hosting this critical event, and for its generous and much needed pledge of $6 billion to the Global Fund.”

The Biden Administration’s commitment helped to spur unprecedented increases from other countries, an indication of how critical U.S.  investments in global health are to encourage other countries to similarly step up.  

The Global Fund has been instrumental in the fight against HIV/AIDS, helping to:

  • Save 50 million lives; 
  • Decrease AIDS-related deaths by 70% since the peak of the epidemic in 2004 in countries where it invests; and
  • Provide 23.3 million people living with HIV with lifesaving antiretroviral therapy. 

However, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a dangerous effect on this progress. For the first time in the history of the Global Fund, key HIV prevention and testing services declined in 2020 compared to the previous year. To contend with the challenges posed by COVID-19 and restore progress against HIV/AIDS, it is crucial to reach the target set out in the Global Fund’s Investment Case. Expected pledges from the U.K. and Italy in the coming months are a positive indication that the goal will be met. 

“It’s impressive that, even in the midst of multiple global crises, leaders came together to mobilize an historic level of international investment in global health,” said GAPP Co-Chair, Suraj Madoori. “But $18 billion is the minimum needed to get the world back on track. Without further investments in the Global Fund, as well as in its bilateral partners such as the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), it will be far more challenging to meet the 2030 deadline for ending AIDS as a public health threat.”

The Global Fund and PEPFAR are inextricably connected in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The Global Fund is the primary purchaser of antiretroviral medication in many PEPFAR countries. The Global Fund also works closely with PEPFAR teams, along with national governments, to jointly plan program alignment and support scale up, using resources efficiently and preventing duplication of efforts. Additionally, through PEPFAR, the U.S. government holds a permanent seat as a member of the Global Fund’s Board.

“Though the pledging conference is over, Replenishment efforts will continue,” said Coester. “We urge global leaders to continue to fight for what counts by providing sufficient funding for the Global Fund and its bilateral partners.”