The Global Fund's resource allocation decisions for HIV programmes: addressing those in need

Olga Avdeeva, Jeffrey V Lazarus, Mohamed Abdel Aziz, Rifat Atun
Journal of the International AIDS Society 2011 October 26, 14: 51

BACKGROUND: Between 2002 and 2010, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria's investment in HIV increased substantially to reach US$12 billion. We assessed how the Global Fund's investments in HIV programmes were targeted to key populations in relation to disease burden and national income.

METHODS: We conducted an assessment of the funding approved by the Global Fund Board for HIV programmes in Rounds 1-10 (2002-2010) in 145 countries. We used the UNAIDS National AIDS Spending Assessment framework to analyze the Global Fund investments in HIV programmes by HIV spending category and type of epidemic. We examined funding per capita and its likely predictors (HIV adult prevalence, HIV prevalence in most-at-risk populations and gross national income per capita) using stepwise backward regression analysis.

RESULTS: About 52% ($6.1 billion) of the cumulative Global Fund HIV funding was targeted to low- and low-middle-income countries. Around 56% of the total ($6.6 billion) was channelled to countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The majority of funds were for HIV treatment (36%; $4.3 billion) and prevention (29%; $3.5 billion), followed by health systems and community systems strengthening and programme management (22%; $2.6 billion), enabling environment (7%; $0.9 billion) and other activities. The Global Fund investment by country was positively correlated with national adult HIV prevalence. About 10% ($0.4 billion) of the cumulative HIV resources for prevention targeted most-at-risk populations.

CONCLUSIONS: There has been a sustained scale up of the Global Fund's HIV support. Funding has targeted the countries and populations with higher HIV burden and lower income. Prevention in most-at-risk populations is not adequately prioritized in most of the recipient countries. The Global Fund Board has recently modified eligibility and prioritization criteria to better target most-at-risk populations in Round 10 and beyond. More guidance is being provided for Round 11 to strategically focus demand for Global Fund financing in the present resource-constrained environment.

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