The COVID-19 pandemic is threatening the progress achieved in the area of HIV/AIDS and placing strain on health systems around the world.
On the occasion of World AIDS Day, France recalls that strengthening health systems is essential for international health security.
The fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and now COVID-19 is the same the world over, and can only be won through sustainable commitment from all actors towards the populations most at risk.
In 20 years, the fight against AIDS has made major headway. But we’re still far from eradication.
— France Diplomacy🇫🇷 (@francediplo_EN) December 1, 2021
France joined the global fight against HIV/AIDS at a very early stage, and was one of the first countries to undertake international action based on the values of solidarity and equal and universal access to treatment, while making a financial contribution reflecting the scale of the issue: it is the second-largest historical contributor to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and the largest contributor to Unitaid.
France supports an approach based on human rights, and eliminating stigmatization and discrimination. The HIV/AIDS epidemic hits hardest certain populations which are marginalized and victims of intimidation and harassment, making it more difficult for them to access prevention and screening services, as well as available treatment.
Within the organizations which it funds (Global Fund, Unitaid, UNAIDS), France thus supports caring for these populations, respecting minority groups, observing gender equality and protecting vulnerable populations.
Since its creation 20 years ago, France has donated €5.5 billion to the Fund and remains its second-largest historical contributor, helping to save the lives of 44 million people with HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.
With over €2 billion donated since 2006, France is also the largest contributor to Unitaid. Unitaid helped speed up access to high-quality, affordable HIV treatments and diagnostics for vulnerable populations, particularly by reducing prices. France was behind the creation of Unitaid.
By contributing to UNAIDS, France is demonstrating its support for this major tool for advocacy and mobilizing populations, but also monitoring and analysis. UNAIDS holds the world’s most extensive database on HIV/AIDS and how to tackle this epidemic. Its work is necessary in order to assess progress but also shortcomings observed, in order to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2030, in line with international commitments.
Finally, this year France began contributing to the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), a UN-backed and Unitaid-funded programme whose mission is to facilitate the production of generic drugs, including antiretroviral treatments, by combining equity and innovation.