08 June 2017 | Statement

Unitaid Board supports integrated approach to fighting leading causes of HIV deaths

Unitaid Board supports integrated approach to fighting leading causes of HIV deaths
Image: Giulio Donini/Unitaid

Geneva, Switzerland — Unitaid’s Executive Board has approved a new investment area that addresses some of the leading causes of death among people living with HIV in low- and middle-income countries.

The Board’s decision reflects Unitaid’s commitment to a more integrated approach to health, a key component of its five-year strategy and the Sustainable Development Goals.

“Treating HIV co-infections is an essential step in our quest to end HIV/AIDS,” said Celso Amorim, Unitaid’s Board Chair. “The fight against HIV is not over. People are still dying from conditions that are avoidable, treatable and curable.”

The Board passed a resolution that supports improved access to health products for people with advanced HIV disease, those co-infected with HIV and hepatitis, as well as people co-infected with HIV and the human papillomavirus (HPV), the most common sexually transmitted infection and leading cause of cervical cancer in women.

Unitaid will fund projects that fight these life-threatening infections and illnesses through future calls for proposals.

“Ultimately we want to ensure that people living with HIV do not die from other related illnesses,”said Lelio Marmora, Unitaid’s Executive Director. “We are capitalizing on our investments to date in HIV, tuberculosis and malaria, and adopting a more holistic approach to health that breaks down the disease siloes.”

Unitaid has already invested over US$400 million to improve diagnosis and treatment for tuberculosis and close to $60 million for hepatitis C, two of the leading killers of people living with HIV.

The Board also passed a resolution supporting Unitaid’s efforts to develop new investment areas that focus on childhood fever management. This would contribute to the goals set out in the WHO Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016 – 2030.

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