The French Presidency of the G20 has put the issue of innovative financing on the agenda for the summit which will start on 3 November in Cannes. For the past few months, France has been advocating adopting a financial transaction tax.

In a memorandum equivalent to an opinion published for the G20 summit entitled “Defeating the global AIDS epidemic through innovative financing”, the French National AIDS Council (Conseil national du sida) stresses the vital necessity of committing significant, innovative financing to achieve the universal access to antiretrovirals promised by donor countries for 2015.

This funding is indispensable. For the first time in the history of the fight against HIV/AIDS, the opportunity to curb the spread of the global AIDS epidemic has been shown to exist. Indeed, we now know that treating infected people significantly reduces the risk of virus transmission. Ensuring the widest possible access to screening and treatment for those who need it is the best way to stem the spread of the epidemic. According to the World Health Organization, massive development of prevention, screening and treatment access programs could prevent half of the 62 million new infections predicted for the 2005 to 2015 period.

This funding is needed urgently. There are ten million patients in need of antiretroviral treatment who are not receiving it. The continuity of treatment for over five million patients is uncertain, and every day, 7,000 people are newly infected, including 1,000 children.

If the international community does not now agree to provide this essential and urgently required funding, and if it does not commit to radically increasing available funds, the fight against HIV/AIDS will be permanently compromised.

The National AIDS Council therefore stresses the need to create a financial transaction tax and allocate the revenue generated to development, notably to HIV/AIDS control. Furthermore, the Council calls on the international community not to limit its action to the implementation of this tax. Global governmental action must have several clear priorities, notably the mobilization of financial resources in addition to the financial transaction tax, with an increase in official development assistance, the diversification of innovative financing, and a reduction in the price of drugs to be made possible through increased flexibility in implementing the intellectual property rules governing medical products.

The National AIDS Council therefore calls for a new game plan for the fight against HIV/SIDA. All stakeholders, donor and beneficiary countries and international organizations must now take responsibility for stepping up their commitments. The adoption of a financial transaction tax to fund development work should serve to stimulate the dynamic created by this joint mobilization.

Contact Laurent Geffroy (00 33) 1 40 56 68 58 / (00 33) 6 85 72 52 82