The President of France will take part in the G8 summit at Camp David on 18-19 May. In its 12 April 2012 declaration released during the meeting of G8 foreign affairs ministers, the American presidency of the summit reiterated the need to support initiatives to promote universal access to HIV / AIDS prevention, treatment and care. The American presidency also reaffirmed its support for the work of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The G8 countries contribute 78% of the Fund’s financing and France is one of the main contributors.
The mobilisation of the G8 countries is particularly important if universal access to HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care is to be provided in line with the Millennium Development Goals. At the present time, 7.6 million people are eligible for treatment – of whom 5 million live in Africa – but do not yet have access to these vital drugs. Furthermore, the cost of second and third-line treatments, which are vital for many patients facing therapeutic failure, is an obstacle to universal access for many low-income countries.
To meet the universal access objective, current annual investment needs to be increased by 40% and reach $25 billion a year, in line with the objectives set out in the UN Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS in June 2011. However, international financial support dropped in 2010 for the first time in a decade. Due to donors failing to fully meet their funding commitments, the Global Fund was forced to cancel several funding programmes scheduled for the following year.
In a complex financial climate and at a time when the number of new HIV infections is dropping, the G8 countries need to strongly reaffirm their commitment to HIV/AIDS control. France is promoting a financial transaction tax and must also champion innovative funding mechanisms, as they are the only means of meeting the considerable challenges of research and drug access.
To support and shed light on France’s strong stance, Patrick Yeni, the President of the French National AIDS Council (CNS), has today sent the French President the opinion adopted in October 2011 by the CNS Defeating the global AIDS epidemic through innovative financing. In the opinion, the Council states that it is the right time to implement a financial transaction tax in order to provide significant additional resources for HIV/AIDS control. The Council also recommends that further international governmental action is taken beyond the scope of this mechanism alone and highlights the need to cut the cost of treatments. This would be made possible by the dispensations to intellectual property rules implemented in low-income countries. These measures now appear to be vital if the Millennium Development Goals are to be achieved.
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Laurent Geffroy, rapporteur:
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