Just 10 years ago, newspaper headlines were warning that AIDS was becoming a global catastrophe. While effective treatment had been discovered, fewer than 300,000 people worldwide had access to lifesaving medicines.
Today, more than 10 million people are receiving anti-retroviral therapy, which is 99 percent cheaper than it was back then. The rate of new HIV infections has also fallen by one-third.
The world has also made huge progress against two other deadly diseases – tuberculosis and malaria. Deaths from TB have fallen by nearly 50%, and deaths from malaria have fallen by 33% in Africa. A decade ago, the world had no good plans for fighting these diseases. Now, we’ve turned the tide.
What made the difference? One of the biggest factors was the launch of the Global Fund, which uses contributions from government donors and the private sector to pay for drugs for AIDS and TB and bed nets for malaria. Thanks to the Global Fund, 9 million lives have been saved. The Global Fund is also helping countries train a new generation of doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers so that they can take ownership of the response to these epidemics using their own resources.
This week, world leaders are gathering in DC for the 4th Global Fund replenishment and to help the Global Fund build on the human impact that is has delivered to date – 6.1 million people on HIV treatment, 11.2 million people treated for TB, and 360 households provided with insecticide-treated nets. If you want to #BeTheGeneration to help stop these diseases, join the conversation this week on Twitter and Facebook and voice your support for the lifesaving work of the Global Fund.