HIV/AIDS is the main cause of mortality in women aged 15 to 44 worldwide. Despite the scientific progress made, it still kills 650,000 people a year. Globally, AIDS-related mortality has been halved in 20 years. The global target is to defeat HIV/AIDS by 2030 (included in the Sustainable Development Goal on health). The pandemic posed a challenge for the fight against AIDS (access difficulties for sufferers, the use of funds for COVID-19), but also led to a positive reinforcement of health and health-research infrastructure in response.
France was mobilized at a very early stage in the fight against HIV/AIDS and has conducted an international policy based on solidarity, fair and universal access to treatments, and to that end its approach takes discrimination into account.
Historically, France has been the second-largest contributor to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS (some 20% of funds), Tuberculosis and Malaria: €5.5 billion since it was created 20 years ago. The Fund has saved 44 million lives. Last September, President Macron announced (during his visit to the Pasteur Institute) an unprecedented French contribution of €1.8 billion for the next three years. In 2019 he had announced €1.3 billion, already up 20% from the previous (three-year) cycle.
Compared to the previous ones, the Global Fund’s new strategy for 2023-2028 emphasizes prevention, the role of local communities, the fight against discrimination and the link with pandemics.
France is the leading contributor to UNITAID (€2 billion since 2006), which it created (with the help of Brazil) and which has speeded up vulnerable people’s access to good quality, affordable HIV treatments and diagnoses, particularly by reducing prices. UNITAID is an organization focused on innovation. These innovative products and approaches are thought to prevent some 100,000 deaths and more than three million infections a year.
France contributes to UNAIDS, an advocacy organization which also carries out monitoring and analysis.
Finally, since 2021 France has contributed to the Medicines Patent Pool, a programme supported by the UN and funded by UNITAID, to facilitate the production of generic versions of medicines and in particular antiretroviral treatments.