The Global Fund and the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) announced on December 1, World AIDS Day, that between them they are now supporting antiretroviral treatment for 1.2 million people living with AIDS. This represents a three-fold increase in the total number of people receiving treatment in low- and middle-income countries since December 2003, and a doubling in the past year.
"Four years ago, almost nobody in Africa and elsewhere in the developing world was receiving treatment. That well over one million people with AIDS are on now on treatment through the support of Global Fund and PEPFAR is a remarkable achievement," said Richard Feachem, Executive Director of the Fund. "We must now build on this progress to reach the millions more who are still in urgent need. We look forward to continuing to work closely with PEPFAR and other partners around the world to do so."
In their joint statement, the Fund and PEPFAR said that at the end of September 2006, 822,000 people received support for treatment through PEPFAR's bilateral programs in fifteen focus countries. The Global Fund supported treatment for 770,000 people worldwide. Approximately 400,000 people in PEPFAR focus countries received treatment support from both PEPFAR and the Global Fund, and thus are counted in the totals for each organization.
Editor's note: When the Global Fund and PEPFAR say that they "support" treatment for a specific number of people worldwide, this does not mean that their grants "provide" all aspects of treatment to that many people. This is because other funders, including national governments, employers, and the infected people themselves, make significant contributions to the costs of providing treatment to many of the people included in the Global Fund and PEPFAR numbers. For instance, in some Country X, the Fund and/or PEPFAR might pay for something like clinical testing or second line medications, with all other costs for those same patients being covered by other players.