Thursday, 13 June, 2024
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Global report urges more investment in Aids war

Fully financing the HIV response in Africa to end Aids as a public health threat by 2030 will save millions of lives and improve economic outcomes, but governments need to act immediately, shows new research and analysis conducted by Economist Impact in 13 African countries, including South Africa.

The report, titled A triple dividend: The health, social, and economic gains from financing the HIV response in Africa, compiled by UNAIDS, reveals that fully financing the HIV response will not only save lives but also produce substantial health, social and economic gains.

The report, released last week, warns failure to secure the required funding to end Aids as a public health threat by 2030 will lead to substantial health, social and economic costs, reports Health-e News.

In 2022, the SA National Aids Council (SANAC) estimated that 350 470 females aged 15-24 received an HIV diagnosis in South Africa. Investing more in HIV now will lead to fewer deaths, new infections and improved education, and will free up resources for Universal Health Coverage.

The report highlights a glimmer of hope for young women in South Africa, because if the country meets the targets for fully financing the HIV response, women aged 15-19 will account for almost 15% of the reduction in new infections by 2030, despite comprising less than 5% of the total population.

Meeting the 2030 target will see the GDP increase by 2.8% – a clear indication that fully financing the HIV response is not just a health issue but also an economic one.

UNAIDS executive director Winnie Byanyima said this report is a critical catalyst for political action towards full HIV funding and substantial social and economic outcomes.

“It will put African countries on a path towards building more resilient healthcare systems and be better prepared for future pandemics,” she said.

The report shows funding levels in 2020 fell almost 30% below targets, making upcoming targets even harder to achieve. UNAIDS projects that more than 7m Aids-related deaths will occur by 2030. But a fully funded HIV response and proper polices could prevent half of those deaths.

“Not only would there be between 40% and 90% fewer new HIV infections, depending on the country, but investing in the HIV epidemic would also enhance educational outcomes, especially for young women and girls, reduce gender inequalities and boost economic growth,” reads the report.

Community networks’ role in HIV response

Economist Impact’s Rob Cook said African countries face huge challenges in securing resources to increase domestic HIV funding, and suggests policymakers use existing financing and community networks more effectively.

“Drawing on existing community-centred networks could play a key role in both mobilising additional resources for the HIV response and ensuring that it is equitable and reaches those most in need,” he said.

Global crises like Covid-19 have hampered HIV efforts and financing for health and other Sustainable Development Goals, according to the report.

UNAIDS estimates low and middle-income countries require $29bn annually to meet 2030 targets of ending Aids as a public health threat.

“Our findings indicate that young girls and women, who are disproportionately impacted by the HIV epidemic, stand to gain the most in relative terms from enhanced financing for the responses to HIV,” said the report.

AIDS report

Health-e News article – Fully funding HIV response key to saving lives (Open access)

 

See more from MedicalBrief archives:

 

Mapping the burden of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa

 

NGOs claim victory over US funding cut to SA’s HIV programmes

 

SSA makes most progress in fight against HIV — UNAIDS report

 

‘Dangerous complacency’ risks resurgence of HIV pandemic — Lancet Commission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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