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AIDS Strategy

Volume 476: debated on Monday 2 June 2008

I have placed in the Libraries of both Houses a copy of DFID’s AIDS strategy 2008-2015.

This strategy sets out the UK’s priorities for “Achieving Universal Access—Halting and Reversing the Spread of HIV in the Developing World”. The seven year strategy, which replaces “Taking Action”, the UK’s successful strategy for HIV and AIDS from 2005-08, is the product of an extensive consultation process, with extensive inputs from those working on HIV and AIDS in developing countries—in the UK and internationally—including other funding agencies and the United Nations, including UNAIDS.

Building on the success of “Taking Action”—galvanised international support, increased funding, improved results—this strategy focuses on addressing the latest challenges. If we are to achieve universal access and to halt and reverse the spread of AIDS, the evidence demonstrates we require a long-term approach, across a range of health systems and services. Our new commitment to spend £6 billion on health systems and services up to 2015 demonstrates the UK’s determination to remain at the forefront of global efforts to achieve universal access. This is in addition to the unprecedented long-term commitment by the UK, announced in September 2007, to provide £1 billion to the global fund between 2008 and 2015.

This strategy commits £200 million over three years to expand social protection programmes, which will help ensure that more orphans and vulnerable children have access to better child nutrition, health and education. The UK remains committed to meeting the needs of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC). “Taking Action” helped increase global funding for OVCs. But we now need to ensure the needs of OVCs are systematically met. Evidence shows that this can best be achieved through integrating OVCs’ needs into health, education and social protection plans. We will regularly review this approach by publishing a report following the biennial global partners forum on children affected by HIV and AIDS, to ensure that the approach outlined here supports the most effective ways of meeting the needs and rights of OVCs.

The strategy outlines the key role the UK Government can play in achieving universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support by 2010. Within this comprehensive package, the strategy sets out that more effort is needed on HIV prevention. To achieve this, action is required in three main areas:

i) meeting the needs and protecting the rights of those most vulnerable to HIV;

ii) supporting more effective and integrated service delivery; and

iii) making the money work harder, through more effective partnerships.

DFID will work closely with overseas Governments and other agencies, particularly UNAIDS, World Bank, the EU and bilateral agencies, NGOs and civil society groups, including people living with HIV, to ensure progress towards universal access.

The strategy sets out key commitments that the UK will make as our contribution the global response:

We will spend £6 billion on health to 2015. This will help maximise progress on AIDS through closer integration of AIDS, TB, malaria, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and maternal and child health services.

In the health sector, we will work with others to intensify international efforts to increase to 80 per cent. by 2010 the percentage of HIV-infected pregnant women who receive anti-retroviral treatments (ARVs) to reduce the risk of mother to child transmission, both in low income and high prevalence countries.

We will work with others to provide WHO recommended threshold of at least 2.3 doctors, nurses and midwives per 1000 people.

We will work with others to intensify international efforts to halve unmet demand for family planning—including male and female condoms—by 2010, to achieve universal access to family planning by 2015.

We will work with Governments and civil society in eight African countries to develop social protection policies and programmes that will provide effective and predictable support for the most vulnerable households, including those with children affected by AIDS.

We will intensify efforts to increase the coverage of HIV and AIDS sendees for injecting drug users in countries where they are most affected.

We will increase by at least 50 per cent. our funding for research and development of AIDS vaccines and microbicides over 2008-13, to help reduce the impact of the disease on women and girls.

We will work with others to reduce drug prices and increase access to more affordable and sustainable treatment over the long term. This could yield efficiency savings of at least £50 million per annum—enough to cover the cost of anti-retrovirals for an additional one million people every year.

We will ensure the global fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria implements the Paris declaration for better co-ordination and use of resources.

We will work with development partners, both within and outside the international health partnership (IHP), to ensure that sector-wide approaches to health strengthen the AIDS response and that targeted AIDS programmes also strengthen the wider health system.

Finally, the document outlines how DFID will monitor and measure the outputs of the new strategy and be accountable for achieving results.

I warmly commend this strategy to the Members of both Houses and thank them for their continued interest and support of DFID’s programme to advance global action on AIDS.