Brussels, 30 November 2010
Key Facts on the European Commission's actions to fight HIV/Aids
European Commission actions to fight HIV/AIDS:
As the world's largest donor of development aid, the European Union has collectively provided the majority of the significant increase in recent years of international financing for combating HIV/AIDS.
HIV/AIDS projects and programmes are carried out through different financial instruments in multiple policy fields, such as the Research Framework Programme, the Health Programme, the Development Cooperation Instrument and others.
The European Programme for Action to Confront HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis through External Action (2007-2011) sets out a strategy for with suggestions for collective actions on the part of the Commission and the Member States.
In its international cooperation the Commission addresses HIV/AIDS through two complementary and mutually supporting approaches: through bilateral support to strengthen health systems to ensure equal access to quality care and through active membership of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM).
EU Member States and the European Commission have provided more than $10 billion from 2002 – 2010 to the GFATM, which equals 52% of the GFATM resources. In June this year, the GFATM reported that 2.8 million people with HIV have received life-saving antiretroviral (ARV) treatment thanks to their actions.
The European Commission is a founding member of the Global Fund. It has been providing strong political and financial support to the fund since 2002. From 2002 to 2010, the European Commission contributed a total of €972.5 million, which makes it the fifth largest donor to the fund (after the USA, France, Italy and Japan).
In its cooperation with its partner countries all over the world the Commission is increasingly channelling its funds available through budget support to strengthen health systems as one of the main ways to confront AIDS. This new instrument is thought to be particularly beneficial for health systems, providing longer-term and predictable financing.
The Commission Communication on Combating HIV/AIDS in the European Union and neighbouring countries for 2009-2013 concentrates on prevention and on measures for most at risk groups and particular geographical areas mainly affected by HIV/AIDS.
The HIV/AIDS Think Tank and the HIV/AIDS Civil Society Forum bring together national authorities, academia, International organisations and Civil Society to realise its implementation and to contribute to reducing the burden of epidemic in Europe.
Background figures on HIV/AIDS in the world:
Since the beginning of the epidemic, almost 60 million people have been infected with HIV and more than 25 million people have died of AIDS related causes.
Today, more than 33 million people are living with HIV/AIDS.
Around 6,800 people are infected by HIV each day. About 45 percent of these are young people aged 15 to 24.
Sub-Saharan Africa is the region most affected by the disease and is home to 67% of all people living with HIV worldwide and 91% of all new infections among children.
AIDS is the leading cause of death in sub-Saharan Africa and the fourth-leading cause of death worldwide.
In Eastern Europe prevalence of HIV infections continues to rise, predominantly among injecting drug users and their sexual partners. 35% of all new infections in the European Union are among Men having sex with men.
Despite the overall decrease in the number of new infections, the total number of people living with HIV worldwide continues to grow (partly due to increased survival because of increased coverage with anti-retroviral treatment).
More than 5,2 million people in low an middle income countries receive life saving antiretroviral treatment, but another 10 million people, including hundreds of thousands in the European neighbourhood still do not have access to ARVs.
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