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Health - HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria


AIDS is still one of the leading causes of death in the world and the primary cause of adult death in Africa. Since the beginning of the epidemic, almost 60 million people have been infected with HIV and 25 million people have died of AIDS related causes.

Although important progress has been achieved in preventing new HIV infections and in lowering the annual number of AIDS - related deaths, AIDS continues to be a major global health priority. The number of people living with HIV worldwide continued to grow in 2008, reaching a total of 33.4 million . In 2008, 2.7 million people became newly infected, and 2 million people died from AIDS-related causes.

The epidemic appears to have stabilized in most regions, although prevalence continues to increase in Eastern Europe and Central Asia and in other parts of Asia due to a high rate of new infections. Sub-Saharan Africa remains the most heavily affected region, accounting for 71% of all new HIV infections in 2008. 14.1 million children in sub-Saharan Africa have lost one or both parents to AIDS, and AIDS remains the top killer in the region.


It caused 1.7 M deaths and there were 9.2 M new cases in 2006. 0.2 M of those who died and 0.7 M of the new cases were people with HIV.


It kills nearly one million children every year, mostly in Africa.

Although the incidence of the three diseases appears to have stabilized globally, epidemics continue to be an exceptional challenge and threats to socioeconomic development and human security.

Climate change and the development of multi-drug resistant strains represent new challenges in combating them.

An effective response to these three poverty diseases is needed to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) by 2015.

EU and global response

EU action to confront HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria is based on the 2004 European policy framework , the EU action programme (2007-2011) , and its progress report (2009) .

As part of the international response, the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malariawas established in 2001 as a financing mechanism and global partnership. The Commission has been a founding member and plays a key role in the Board. Collectively, the EU has provided more than 55% of the total contributions since 2001. (EC contribution to the GFATM:  €622 M by 2007).

Combating HIV/AIDS is a major objective in the European Consensus on Development . In the context of the 10th EDF , t he Commission is addressing this objective in all development policy sectors (mainstreaming), and making predictable, long-term financing available through budget support schemes including the new instrument of the budget support.

EU policy on the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria is based on the UNFPA action programme agreed by the UN International Conference on Population and Development (Cairo, 1994) and the subsequent key actions after 5 years and renewed commitment after 10 years .

As the world's largest donor, the EU has collectively provided the majority of the significant increase in recent years of international financing earmarked for HIV/AIDS.

EU contributions to the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria have almost quadrupled: From $403 million in 2003 to $1,546 million, representing around 55% of world contributions in the years 2004-2008.

The EU Member States and the European Commission have a common programme for action and decided together to call for stronger, more effective and more concerted efforts through External Action (2007-2011).

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.

Budget support has increased from €1,425 million for 2002-2006 to €2, 571 million for 2007-2011.

The Commission has also adopted a new Communication (26 October 2009) on combating HIV/AIDS in the European Union and neighbouring countries for 2009 -2013 with the view of addressing the unfortunate trend of increasing infections in Europe. It focuses in particular on the promotion of prevention, and on the implementation of measures targeting most at risk groups and particular geographical areas mostly affected by HIV/AIDS.

Challenges include:

  • maintaining a comprehensive policy mix of prevention, treatment and care focusing on women and young people including orphans
  • global financing
  • global governance
  • the link between HIV/AIDS and reproductive health, exacerbated by poor health systems in many developing countries.


Last update: 17/02/2012 | Top