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Brussels, 01 December 2011

Key Facts on the European Commission's actions to fight HIV/Aids

European Commission actions to fight HIV/AIDS:

  • Between 2002 and 2010, EU Member States and the European Commission have provided almost $10 billion to the GFATM (The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria). This represents 51% of the GFATM resources. By June 2011 the GFATM reported some impressive results: a total of 7.7 million lives saved, fewer new HIV infections and 3.2 million people receiving antiretroviral HIV treatment.

  • The European Commission is a founding member of the Global Fund, providing strong political and financial support since 2002. From 2002 to 2011, the Commission contributed €1.2 billion, which makes it the sixth largest donor to the fund. The GFATM Board has recently adopted a number of very difficult but necessary decisions and reforms and aspires to contribute substantially to international goals that will lead to significant improvements. Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, will decide whether to resume payments.

  • 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 collaborative action by the Commission and the Member States.

  • The Commission is involved in international cooperation on HIV/AIDS through two complementary approaches: bilateral support to strengthen health systems to ensure equal access to quality care and direct support to activities to fight HIV through organisations such as the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) and smaller organisations at country level.

  • As one of the main ways of tackling AIDS, the Commission - in cooperation with its global partners – is increasingly channelling available funds, through budget support, to strengthen health systems. This new instrument is thought to be particularly beneficial for health systems. During the policy dialogue for the prioritisation of evidence based programmes, the Commission advocates that:

  • Health and development remain key priorities for the Commission. Its recent development policy Communication "An agenda for change" underlines the need to secure a social base, including health education and social protection, which is of paramount importance for growth and development;

  • The Commission Communication on Combating HIV/AIDS in the European Union and neighbouring countries for 2009-2013 concentrates on prevention and on measures targeting the major risk groups such as men having sex with men, injecting drug users and commercial sex workers.

  • The HIV/AIDS Think Tank and the HIV/AIDS Civil Society Forum bring together national authorities, academia, International organisations and Civil Society to implement the HIV Action Plan and thereby 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 34 million people are living with HIV/AIDS.

  • Around 7.000 people are infected by HIV each day. About 45 percent of these are young people aged 15 to 24.

  • The proportion of women living with HIV has remained stable at 50% worldwide. However, the highest rates for women are in sub-Saharan Africa (59% of all people living with HIV) and the Caribbean (53%).

  • There were 2.7 million [2.4 million–2.9 million] new HIV infections in 2010. This includes an estimated 390 000 [340 000–450 000] new infections among children. This is a decrease of 15% compared with 2001, and 21% below the rate of new infections at the peak of the epidemic in 1997.

  • Sub-Saharan Africa remains the region most heavily affected by HIV. Although sub-Saharan Africa accounts for only 12% of the world's population, in 2010 around 68% of those living with HIV lived in this region. Sub-Saharan Africa also accounted for 70% of new HIV infections in the same year, although there was a notable decline in the regional rate of new infections. Particularly worryingly, 91% of all new infections were among children.

  • AIDS is the leading cause of death in sub-Saharan Africa and the fourth-leading cause of death worldwide.

  • 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 rates resulting from an increase in anti-retroviral treatment).

  • More than 6.6 million people (out of the estimated 14.2) in low and middle income countries receive life saving antiretroviral treatment, but another 8.6 million people, including hundreds of thousands in the European neighbourhood still do not have access to Antiretroviral drugs (ARVs).

HIV/AIDS in Europe:

  • In 2010, 27 116 newly diagnosed cases of HIV were reported by 28 countries in the EU/EEA

  • The predominant mode of transmission of new infections in the EU/EEA is sex between men, followed by heterosexual contacts.

  • In Eastern Europe and Central Asia, there was a 250% increase in the number of people living with HIV between 2001 and 2010. The Russian

  • Federation and Ukraine account for almost 90% of the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region’s epidemic. Injecting drug use remains the leading cause of HIV infection in this region, although there is considerable transmission to the sexual partners of people who inject drugs.

  • In the EU and the European Economic Area (EEA) countries, rates of diagnosed HIV cases doubled between 2000 and 2009 in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia and increased by more than 50% in the United Kingdom. Conversely, new HIV diagnoses decreased by more than 20% in Latvia, Portugal and Romania.

For Further Information

Link to EU Statement: (

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