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In-Brief: May 3rd, 2018

 In Brief is NEAETC's news service covering the latest developments and educational resources about HIV, hepatitis, health disparities, and related topics. To subscribe, please click HERE.

More News from the 25th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI)

Global HIV Spending Peaked at About $50 Billion in 2013, According to Health Financing Network

Between 2000 and 2015, global HIV spending totaled approximately $563 billion, according to a recent report in the journal Lancet from the Global Burden of Disease Health Financing Collaborator Network.  Annual funding tripled from about $16.3 billion in 2000 to a peak of about $49.7 billion in 2013, and then decreased to about $48.9 billion by 2015.  During 2015 – the latest year covered by the study – approximately 19% ($9.3 billion) of total HIV funding was spent on prevention, and 56% ($27.3 billion) was dedicated to HIV care and treatment. 

“Despite the considerable domestic response to HIV/AIDS, many low-income and middle-income countries remain dependent on development assistance for health to fund HIV/AIDS programmes,” according to the report. “Development assistance for health made up most of the total spending on HIV/AIDS in high prevalence (1–5%) countries in 2015. In extremely high prevalence (>5%) countries, development assistance for health comprises half of HIV/AIDS spending. Low-income countries make up half of high-prevalence countries and a third of extremely high-prevalence countries.” 

The report authors conclude that, “High-prevalence countries reliant on development assistance for health must plan strategically so that decreases in external financing do not alter trajectories towards ending the transmission of HIV and sustaining HIV-positive populations with antiretroviral therapy . . . Potential ways to offset declines in external HIV/AIDS funding include reallocating more government resources to the health sector, reallocating more government health resources to HIV/AIDS, or reallocating government HIV/AIDS resources to focus on the most effective approaches to HIV/AIDS prevention or treatment.”

The Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Kaiser Family Foundation recently hosted a forum, “Global HIV/AIDS Financing Amidst Uncertainty,” in which experts discussed key findings of the funding report and their implications for global efforts to end the HIV pandemic.  An audio recording of the forum is available here.

IAS Annual Letter Outlines Policy Questions and Commitments for 2018

In its recent 2018 annual letter, AIDS Is (Still) Political, the International AIDS Society (IAS) notes that, despite recent global scientific advances and increased sharing of best practices to prevent, diagnose, and treat HIV infection, progress toward ending the HIV pandemic varies widely across the globe.  While the number of new HIV infections was cut nearly in half worldwide, in parts of Eastern Europe, new infections have risen 60% since 2010. IAS contends that politics – and, in particular, harmful political choices – explain why progress in some nations and regions has faltered. The IAS letter addresses four “uncomfortable questions” about the epidemic: 1) Who are we ending AIDS for? 2) Why is prevention falling behind? 3) How should donor nations support the response to HIV in low- and middle-income countries outside of Southern and Eastern Africa? and 4) How ready are we, as the HIV community, to embrace other approaches to managing the epidemic?

The IAS letter then goes on to present the following organizational commitments to its members for 2018:

  • to link HIV with the broader global health agenda; 
  • to Push science to drive policy;
  • to Unite interdisciplinary scientists, community advocates. and frontline healthcare workers at AIDS 2018;
  • to Invest in prevention prioritization; 
  • to make groundbreaking HIV research available; and  
  • to make the money work for people-centered healthcare.