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Our impact on HIV

More than 38 million people currently live with HIV and many more people – especially from certain priority populations – are at risk. Our agreements are helping to bring HIV products to low- and middle-income countries.

Global HIV overview

In 2021, around 1.5 million people acquired HIV and 650,000 people died from AIDS-related illnesses. The world is a long way from achieving the 2030 target of ending AIDS as a global health threat.

However, there have been large reductions in cases and deaths since the peak in the mid-1990s. Over the course of the HIV epidemic, huge progress has been made in developing products and medicines to prevent, test and treat HIV, and monitor viral load to ensure treatment is working.

But many people living in low- and middle-income countries cannot access these products. Without access, it will be difficult to curb the epidemic and get it back on track to reach the global targets.

More from WHO

“HIV and syphilis are two of the most devastating diseases a child can be born with.”

Dr Akudo Ikpeazu, public health physician and director and head of Nigeria’s national AIDS, viral hepatitis and STIs control program

Our HIV agreements

To date, we have signed three agreements to accelerate access to products that tackle HIV:

  1. Viral load testing to monitor whether patients are on effective treatment.
  2. A dual test for HIV and syphilis that enables pregnant women to be tested for both conditions simultaneously.
  3. An HIV self-test which enables people to test for HIV in privacy.

Impact to date:

554,000

patients not virally suppressed identified by end of 2021

$1

record low price per HIV-self test secured

Case study: Increasing access to viral load testing

Our guarantee for Hologic disrupted the market for viral load testing. It led to a new low ceiling price of $12 per patient test, including all consumables, which has become the benchmark for major procurers.

The partnership, part of Hologic’s Global Access Initiative, has led to more than 500,000 people with unsuppressed HIV viral load being identified and more than 250,000 people being switched to more suitable second-line treatment.

Thirteen countries are now using the Panther for HIV viral load testing thanks to our guarantee. The Panther platform can also test for hepatitis viral load, as well as diagnostic testing for COVID-19 and human papillomavirus, the leading cause of cervical cancer.

By the end of 2021, the guarantee had directly led to $27 million savings for procurers including the Global Fund and PEPFAR.

Viral load testing

“Not knowing a patient’s viral load is like walking around in the dark with a pair of scissors. You don’t know who you will cut. Without knowing the viral load, you don’t know if the drugs are working. And if you don’t know if the drugs are working, the patient may be unknowingly transmitting HIV to others.”

Dr. N Kumarasamy, infectious diseases doctor, Chennai, India

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