UNITAID Communication unitaidcommunication at gmail.com
Wed Oct 6 07:24:29 PDT 2010

*UNITAID Calls for Campaign to Mobilise Innovative Financing for AIDS, TB
and Malaria*

*Geneva, 6 October 2010* - UNITAID welcomes donor countries’ pledges to The
Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, made yesterday in New York at the
agency’s third replenishment meeting. However, the final figure of USD 11.7
billion is less than hoped for as it falls short of the low-end funding
scenario of USD 13 billion. Other funds must now be mobilised to address
current needs.

“The fight against the three diseases still requires additional funding,”
said Jorge Bermudez, UNITAID Executive Secretary. "We need to ensure that in
this time of financial constraints the poorest are not neglected and that
programmes that work are adequately funded."

Ten years of global efforts and dedicated funding have put nearly five
million people on HIV/AIDS treatment in developing countries. The Global
Fund has had a large share of that success. But another ten million people
currently in need of life-saving AIDS medicines – 60% of them women and
children - are still waiting.

Current research shows that the world needs to invest more into the fight
against AIDS and not less. The World Health Organization published new
guidelines at the Vienna AIDS Conference in July 2010, recommending earlier
treatment initiation and newer and more robust medicines for people living
with HIV in the developing world. Newer medicines are more expensive, and
with earlier treatment initiation the number of people in need of therapy
will skyrocket in the next years.

“Targeting HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria has produced real benefits even for
other health priorities such as child and maternal health,” said Philippe
Douste-Blazy, UNITAID’s Chair. “What we need today is a massive movement to
make globalization work for and not against people. If official aid cannot
measure up to current needs, we immediately need to activate other means of
securing funding. Innovative financing, such as UNITAID’s model of
collecting additional funds from small levies on air tickets – and a
results-driven, innovative approach to spending the money - have achieved
enormous benefits in a very short time and could well be the only solution
to reach the Millennium Development Goals.”

HIV/AIDS is slated to be the disease hardest hit by dwindling donor backing
because it is a chronic condition and patients need to take medicines for
their entire life. But malaria and tuberculosis will also suffer. Not
addressing these diseases, or reducing existing interventions, will not only
cause more deaths, it will actually put unsustainable pressure on already
weak health systems.




UNITAID was launched in 2006 as an innovative mechanism for scaling up
access to treatment for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

Founded by Brazil, Chile, France, Norway and the UK, today UNITAID has the
support of 28 countries as well as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

UNITAID currently supports partner programmes in 94 countries worldwide - we
are addressing HIV/AIDS in 51 countries; malaria in 29; and tuberculosis in
72 countries.

In less just over three years UNITAID has committed one billion dollars to
the diagnosis and treatment of these three diseases, representing a total of
over 21 million treatments provided to patients.

UNITAID uses a market impact model that drives prices down, by guaranteeing
a long-term market for large volumes of drugs and medical tools. Reduced
prices, in turn, help funds go further and help more people.

UNITAID´s work also helps foster the development of needed medicine
formulations that otherwise are not priorities for pharmaceutical research
and development programmes, such as three-in-one fixed-dose combination AIDS
medicines for children. To further strengthen incentives for manufacturers
to develop patient friendly medicines, UNITAID has facilitated the creation
of the Medicines Patent Pool Foundation, a one-stop shop for originator
companies to license their patents to generic producers.

UNITAID's funding model is based on an air ticket solidarity levy. While
some of our donors contribute through multi-year budgetary commitments, the
air tax provides about 70% of our funding.

Contact: Daniela Bagozzi, UNITAID Communication, tel. +41 22 791 45 44; Mob.
+41 79 475 54 90; Email bagozzid at who.int

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