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Global Fund Observer


Issue 339: 01 August 2018

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1. OVERVIEW: International AIDS Conference 2018 reframes the HIV response for the long term

By: Adèle Sulcas

At the 22nd International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam, the global community recognized that reaching UNAIDS’ Fast Track ‘90-90-90’ targets by 2020, or even 2030, is unlikely to happen. At the same time, experts called for “common cause” with the global health agenda, saying that without integrated programs the attainment of Universal Health Care and increased momentum in the fight against HIV are unlikely.


2. NEWS and ANALYSIS: Peter Sands calls for increases in funding from implementing countries and for health’s share of ODA

By: Adèle Sulcas

The Global Fund’s Executive Director spelled out plainly, in different sessions at the International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam, the need for the governments of implementing countries, and the private sector, to step up their contributions to the HIV response – and towards reaching UHC. He also advocated for an increase in global health’s share of development assistance. 


3. FEATURE: Global Fund Networking Zone at AIDS 2018 shines a spotlight on community engagement

By: Kataisee Richardson

The Global Fund’s six regional Community, Rights and Gender (CRG) platforms came together at the 22nd  International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018) to host the Global Fund Community Zone in the Global Village. The networking zone provided space for AIDS 2018 participants in Amsterdam to connect with each of the regional platforms, learn about key areas of work under the Global Fund CRG Strategic Initiative, engage with community partners that receive support from the Global Fund and discuss relevant issues to civil society and community groups. The Community Zone also hosted a townhall meeting with Executive Director Peter Sands.


4. COMMENTARY: The ‘Risky Middle’: HIV spending, economics and perceptions

By: Alan Whiteside

With broad acknowledgement at AIDS2018 in Amsterdam that development assistance for HIV is in decline, funding discussions turned to the need for increased funding from implementing countries’ own domestic sources. Here South African health economist Alan Whiteside explains his view on the tricky situation of middle-income countries with high HIV burdens.


5. OPINION: Sensitivity training for health workers is crucial for reaching adolescents and key populations

By: Lesley Lawson

Findings from four studies on combination prevention for adolescents in Malawi, South Africa, Zambia and Tanzania funded by the EHPSA programme suggest that youth-friendly and appropriate services are the key to HIV prevention in eastern and southern Africa. The research showed that non-judgemental attitudes from kindly health workers are often the deciding factor for uptake and retention in care.


6. FROM THE FIELD: Global Fund multi-country program in East Africa spearheads trip to China to learn about harm reduction technologies

By: Charlie Baran

A delegation of East Africans visited harm reduction facilities in China to learn about their approach take-home methadone for people who use drugs, for possible application at home. The exchange was organized via the Global Fund’s multi-country harm reduction grant in East Africa, which is coming to an end this year.


7. ANALYSIS: The Global Fund opens consultations on innovative finance mechanisms

By: Cheryl Toksoz

At its last Board Meeting, the Global Fund opened a formal consultation process to develop a more structured approach to innovative finance within the organization. The Global Fund is considering several different approaches to innovative finance, many of which would require a change in organizational policy and the way that it interacts with its partners and the countries it services. The Global Fund Observer takes a closer look at different innovative financing instruments over a series of three articles. This first article describes the background and rationale for the change in policy and discusses the pros and cons of development cooperation mechanisms, such as debt swaps and blended finance. 


8. PRESS RELEASE: New report by Kaiser and UNAIDS shows 2017 spike in global funding for HIV

By: Kaiser Family Foundation and UNAIDS

This study from the Kaiser Family Foundation and UNAIDS finds donor government funding for HIV rose to US$8.1 billion in 2017, from $7 billion in 2016, due to a shift in the timing of U.S. disbursements. This would appear to contradict recent reports of a 'flat-lining' of donor funding for the HIV response, but the study says this boost included funds appropriated but not spent from previous years. 


This is issue 339 of the GLOBAL FUND OBSERVER (GFO) Newsletter. Please send all suggestions for news items, commentaries or any other feedback to the GFO Acting Editor at To subscribe to GFO, go to

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