Recent Events and GF Results Highlight Global Progress Against the Three Diseases

Nisa PatelNews, Newsletter

On World AIDS Day, the Global Fund announced key programmatic results from Global Fund-supported grant programs in 2014, showing steady gains across indicators, including a 20% scale-up in people on anti-retroviral therapy, a 24% scale-up in bed net distribution, and a 39% scale up in people treated for multi-drug-resistant TB since 2013.

Although the results indicate positive signs of progress, their release came on the heels of significant events and announcements across the three diseases recently that included impassioned calls from global leaders for more ambitious targets and warnings of lost lives if efforts plateau.  As the global health community prepares for the final year of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), partners and advocates across the three diseases have struck a dual message, highlighting global gains in the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, while drawing attention to the need for renewed commitments to end the epidemics.

Read more about key Global Fund results here. Click here for more information about recent HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria announcements and events.

Progress Against HIV/AIDS | World AIDS Day Announcements

ewec_originalThe Global Fund’s 2014 results show healthy gains across a number of HIV/AIDS indicators, with the largest proportionate scale-up in anti-retroviral treatment (ART) and counseling and testing services. Key indicators include:

  • 3 million additional people began treatment for HIV in programs supported by the Global Fund, a 20% increase bringing the total to 7.3 million people
  • 27% increase in HIV counselling and testing sessions to reach 390 million sessions total
  • 13% increase in HIV-positive pregnant women receiving ART for prevention of mother-to-child transmission, bringing the total to 2.7 million pregnant women treated with Global Fund support
  • 300 million condoms distributed, bringing the total number distributed through Global Fund-supported programs to 4.9 billion
  • 5% increase in care and support services provided to orphans and vulnerable children

The Global Fund results came less than a month after the release of the new UNAIDS roadmap, “Fast Track: Ending the AIDS Epidemic by 2030.” In a press release issued on World AIDS Day, the Global Fund signaled strong support for the new plan, which calls for rapid scale-up in HIV prevention, testing, treatment and stigma elimination over the next five years in order to achieve ambitious targets by 2020: 90% of people living with HIV/AIDS knowing their status, 90% of people who know their status receiving treatment, and 90% of people on treatment having a suppressed viral load. The Fast Track plan would boost the targets, known as 90-90-90, to 95-95-95 by 2030, and would require at least $35 billion in investments in low- and middle-income countries, with special attention on the 30 countries that account for 89% of new HIV infections.

Other key World AIDS Day announcements include:

  • The Global Fund, U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Pediatric HIV Treatment Initiative (PHTI) unveiled a new Global Pediatric Antiretroviral (ARV) Commitment-to-Action. The partnership will bring together leading organizations to accelerate the development of new, improved and more effective pediatric ARV formulations by 2017. Read more about the partnership here.
  • PSD member companies also commemorated World AIDS Day announcing special initiatives and partnerships to accelerate the fight against AIDS.
    • Mylan announced a partnership with the Canadian AIDS Society to raise funds and awareness for Canadians and people worldwide living with HIV/AIDS. Read more about the partnership here.
    • (RED) member company Apple announced an unprecedented fundraising push to raise funds in support of the Global Fund. Apple announced that 100% of proceeds from 25 of the most popular apps on App Store℠ would go directly to the Global Fund from December 1 to 7. In the lead up to World AIDS Day, Apple also donated a portion of online and in-store sales on November 28 and December 1. Read more about Apple’s announcement here.

Progress Against Malaria | World Malaria Report Released

DiseaseKey results from Global Fund-supported malaria programs in 2014 included distribution of an additional 90 million mosquito nets, a 24% increase bringing the cumulative total to 450 million, a 20% increase in the number of malaria cases treated, and 14% increase in indoor residual spraying coverage for malaria prevention.

One week after the release of the Global Fund’s 2014 results, the WHO launched the 2014 World Malaria Report, detailing 2013 statistics and highlighting global progress towards malaria targets, opportunities and challenges in malaria control and elimination. Key findings include:

  • Since 2000, malaria incidence fell 30% globally, malaria mortality rates decreased 47%, and deaths of children under 5 decreased 53% globally and 58% in Africa.
  • 44% of the population at risk in sub-Saharan Africa slept under an insecticide-treated bed net.
  • 62% of patients with suspected malaria cases in Africa received a diagnostic test in public health facilities.
  • 55 countries are on track to meet World Health Assembly and Roll Back Malaria targets to reduce malaria incidence by 75% by 2015.
  • Despite progress, there were an estimated 198 million cases of malaria worldwide in 2013, leading to 584,000 malaria deaths, 78% of which occurred in children under 5 years old and 90% of which occurred in Africa.
  • 2 billion people remain at risk of malaria, including 1.2 billion people living in high-risk geographies.
  • International and domestic financing for malaria control and elimination has increased 300% since 2005 to US$ 2.7 billion in 2013; however this total still falls short of the US$ 5.1 billion required to achieve global malaria control and elimination targets.

The new statistics were released just one month after malaria stakeholders gathered in New Orleans for the 63rd annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene in New Orleans from November 2-6, 2014. The meeting opened with a keynote speech by Bill Gates, in which he called for the world to eradicate malaria within a generation and announced a 30% increase in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s malaria budget, to more than $200 million per year. Other highlights of the event include:

  • Pedro Alonso, director of WHO’s Global Malaria Program, presented on the new Global Technical Strategy (GTS) for malaria, which aims to ensure universal access to malaria prevention, diagnosis and treatment, accelerate efforts towards elimination, and expand malaria surveillance by 2030.
  • In a joint WHO-RBM session, attendees were encouraged to provide input into the development of Roll Back Malaria’s Global Malaria Action Plan (GMAP2), the second generation action plan that outlines the path to achieve the GTS targets over the 2016-2030 period. RBM is expected to launch the GMAP2 in October 2015.
  • GBCHealth convened a networking dinner on November 3rd for private sector attendees to discuss issues of relevance to the malaria community, including malaria financing needs and the transition from the MDGs to the Sustainable Development Agenda. The event was attended by PSD companies and other leading malaria partners, including A to Z Textile Mills, Arysta LifeScience, Bayer, Chevron, Fio Corporation, GSK, Guilin Pharmaceutical, Intelligent Insect Control, Jhpiego, Novartis, RTI International, Sanofi, TropMed Pharma Consulting, United Nations Foundation and WHO.

Read more about the announcements and developments at the ASTMH meeting here.

Progress Against TB | TB Community Meets for Annual Conference

tbGlobal Fund-supported programs detected and treated 1.1 million smear-positive TB cases in 2014, a 10% increase over 2013 bringing the total to 12.3 million. Treatment of MDR-TB cases also made impressive gains, with a 39% increase to reach 150,000 people treated.

The Global Fund’s announcement of programmatic results follows the release of the WHO Global Tuberculosis Report in October 2014, which revealed a global TB burden of nearly half a million cases more than previously estimated. The latest statistics from 2013 indicated that 9 million people developed TB in 2013 and 1.5 million died of the disease, including 360,000 people who were living with HIV/AIDS. Although global mortality rates fell by almost half since 1990 and an estimated 37 million lives were saved since 2000, there is still an annual budget shortfall of US$ 2 billion, limiting progress against serious threats including MDR-TB. Despite a threefold increase in treatment since 2009, there were an estimated 480,000 new cases of MDR-TB in 2013, 39,000 people diagnosed with this form of the disease were still not being treatment, and globally only 48% of MDR-TB patients were cured, underlining the need for research and development into new tools and treatments.

Shortly after the release of the new statistics, the TB community met in Barcelona, Spain from October 28-November 1, 2014 for the 45th Annual Union World Conference on Lung Health. The 5-day conference included the Global Tuberculosis Symposium organized by the WHO, as well as other courses, workshops, and technical exhibitions on the latest developments and challenges in the TB space. Highlights from the event include:

  • A side meeting on the Global Fund’s new funding model presented information on concept note development, technical support from TB partners, and lessons and challenges from the first year of implementation.
  • PSD member companies including BD, Eli Lilly and Janssen, the Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, presented exhibitions at the event.
  • PSD member company Eli Lilly presented during a symposium on changing the status quo in TB drug and regimen R&D. Lilly also shared case studies from the MDR-TB Partnership on responding to MDR-TB cases with community-driven solutions.

Video highlights from the Conference are available here.

Nisa PatelRecent Events and GF Results Highlight Global Progress Against the Three Diseases