World AIDS Day 2012 (December 1, 2012)
On the occasion of World AIDS Day, France pays tribute to the memory of the 30 million people who have succumbed to the virus over the last 3 decades. Although we welcome the 5.6% reduction in the number deaths due to HIV/AIDS in 2011 and the drop in new infections, the fight against AIDS is not over.
France has made the fight against HIV/AIDS a priority and reaffirms its commitment alongside the EU and the entire international community. There is now hope for the emergence of a generation without AIDS. This means the continuation of major, sustained efforts. France is playing a full role in these efforts, notably reflected by its financial contribution - one of the highest in the world - to the fight against this pandemic:
€360 million per year to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (three-year period 2011-2013), of which 5% is earmarked for the provision of expertise to francophone countries to support the implementation of the Global Fund grants (an initiative managed by France expertise internationale);
€110 million per year to the International Drug Purchasing Facility, UNITAID, thanks to the solidarity exercised by every air passenger (solidarity tax on airline tickets);
more than €2 million per year through our contributions to the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), and its co-sponsors;
€44 million per year in bilateral assistance to combat HIV/AIDS, notably through projects financed by the French Development Agency (AFD) and hospital cooperation (Esther public interest grouping “Together for a Hospital Networking Partnership against AIDS”).
These efforts are paying off - thanks in particular to the reduction in the prices of antiretroviral drugs – since more than 8 million people living with HIV now receive antiretroviral therapy, a significantly improved figure (an increase of 63% since 2009).
For all that, nearly 7 million people who are eligible for treatment still don’t receive it. Our efforts must, more than ever, be prioritized according to 3 essential pillars, namely prevention, treatment and research. The fight against HIV/AIDS requires not just a financial effort, but a commitment to the values of equality, social justice and respect for fundamental freedoms. That’s the reasoning behind France’s commitment.