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Fully Filling the Global Fund

In a world divided by conflict and greed, the Global Fund’s fight against AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria is a matter of enlightened self-interest and a reminder of how much humanity can accomplish when we cooperate to save lives. For public and private donors, that means providing the financing needed to eliminate all three scourges by 2030.

NEW YORK – The single most important public health measure of 2019 is the replenishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. These three diseases, which currently kill around 2.5 million people per year, could be fully contained by 2030, with deaths reduced to nearly zero. The Global Fund is the primary instrument for success, and it needs to raise $10 billion per year to accomplish its mission.

The Global Fund, established in 2001 by Kofi Annan, has been credited with saving 27 million lives and controlling the three epidemics to the point that they can realistically be ended by 2030. Although none of the three diseases can be completely eradicated by then, almost all deaths and new infections can be stopped, because diagnostics, prevention, and treatment have improved markedly and become far less costly over the past 25 years. 

In the case of AIDS, treatment of the HIV virus not only keeps infected individuals healthy, but also reduces the virus load so much that they are unlikely to infect others. In this sense, “treatment is prevention”: treating a sufficiently high proportion of HIV-positive individuals will largely end the transmission of the virus.

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