In what has been hailed as a “breakthrough” and a “game changer,” a pricing agreement between the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and two generic drug companies will result in significant savings in the cost of antiretrovirals (ARVs). As a result of the agreement, starting in 2018 a state-of-the-art fixed dose combination ARV regimen will be available in 92 developing nations at a maximum cost of $75 per patient per year.
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On 19 July 2017, the Global Fund published an audit report by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) on grants to the Republic of South Africa. The country is part of the Fund’s High Impact Africa 1 portfolio and has $312 million in signed grants for the implementation period April 2016 to March 2019.
The Global Fund, one of the main purchasers of generic antiretroviral (ARV) medicines for HIV patients in low- and middle-income countries, has dismissed concerns that the limited number of manufacturers tapped to supply these drugs could result in immediate or future shortages. Fund officials said systems are in place to forecast demand, deal with any supply disruptions and increase production to meet future need.
Elimination 8 (E8) has set the formidable target of full malaria elimination in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland by 2020. Termed the “frontline four”, these countries are nearing elimination of the disease after achieving a 75% decline between 2000 and 2012.
South Africa on 15 July submitted a joint HIV/TB concept note for some $380.5 million in funding, more than half of which is to support prevention interventions specifically targeting key populations including young women and girls, men who have sex with men and people living in disease hot spots. Of this, $142.2 million constitutes an above-allocation request.
There is mounting evidence that within southern Africa’s generalized HIV epidemic there are under-estimated concentrated epidemics among key affected populations (KAPs) such as sex workers and men who have sex with men (MSM).
A ministerial-level meeting took place on 25 March in South Africa, aiming to harmonize tracking, tracing, diagnosis and referrals for people affiliated with southern Africa's lucrative mining sector -- all of whom are at high risk for contracting tuberculosis.
The Global Fund Board has appointed Martin O’Malley to serve as its next Inspector General, a position that requires him to lead the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). The appointment was necessary after the previous Inspector General had his appointment terminated by the Board in November 2012.
Despite the Global Fund’s progressive policies on the inclusion of gay men, other men who have sex with men and transgender individuals (GMT) in programmes supported by the Fund, only a tiny fraction of the money spent by the Fund in six countries in Southern Africa has targeted this population.