By ScienceAfrica Team A new report by the joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) shows that as international funding flattens, more countries are increasing their own share of investments for HIV and that a record of 8 million people are now receiving antiretroviral therapy .

The report, Together we will end AIDS states that low and middle income countries invested US$ 8.6 billion for the response in 2011, an increase of 11% over 2010. International funding however remained flat at 2008 levels (US$ 8.2 billion). According to the report, 81 countries increased their domestic investments for AIDS by more than 50% between 2006 and 2011

As economies in low- and middle-income countries grow, domestic public investments for AIDS have also grown. Domestic public spending in sub-Saharan Africa for example, (not including South Africa) increased by 97% over the last five years. South Africa already spends more than 80% from domestic sources and has quadrupled its domestic investments between 2006 and 2011. “This is an era of global solidarity and mutual accountability,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. He added that countries most affected by the epidemic are taking ownership and demonstrating leadership in responding to HIV. However, it is not enough for international assistance to remain stable¬¬—it has to increase if we are to

meet the 2015 goals.” To further expand country ownership and support mutual accountability, the African Union launched a Roadmap for shared responsibility and global solidarity for AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in Africa ahead of the XIX International AIDS Conference in Washington, DC. It charts a course for more diversified, balanced and sustainable financing for the AIDS response by 2015 and demonstrates Africa’s new leadership and voice in the global AIDS architecture. Domestic sources already account for more than 80% of resources spent on AIDS in South Africa and China—and the

Chinese government has pledged to fully fund its response in the coming years. India, too, has committed to increase domestic funding to more than 90% in its next phase of the AIDS response. Brazil and Russia already fully fund their AIDS response with domestic resources. HIV funding from the international community, on the other hand, has largely been stable between 2008 and 2011, at US$ 8.2 billion. Funding from the United States of America accounts for nearly 48% of all international assistance for AIDS. The report also outlines the significant progress that has been made in reducing new HIV infections in children. Since 2009, new infections in children have fallen by an estimated 24%. Some 330 000 children were newly infected in 2011, almost half than at the peak of the epidemic in 2003 (570 000). In both expanding access to

antiretroviral therapy and stopping new HIV infections in children, this progress suggests that countries are on track to achieving the targets set out in the 2011 Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS: to eliminate new HIV infections in children and reach 15 million people with antiretroviral therapy. “HIV prevention and treatment is needed for all, now and always,” said Mr Sidibé. “I believe that together we will end AIDS. The question is not if but when.” Key HIV data in 2011 at a glance •34.2 million [31.8 – 35.9 million] people globally living with HIV •2.5 million [2.2 – 2.8 million] people became newly infected with HIV •1.7 million [1.6 – 1.9 million] people died of AIDS-related illnesses •More than 8 million people receiving antiretroviral therapy The report outlines that sustaining the AIDS response will require strong country ownership and global

solidarity. It also emphasizes the need for investments to be sustainable and predictable and that countries must be able to mobilize and use resources effectively and efficiently. “Every dollar spent on AIDS is an investment, not an expenditure,” said Mr Sidibé. “We need to focus not only on achieving the 2015 targets but we need to look beyond and keep our sights set firmly on realizing our vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths.”