UNAIDS appreciates the announcement of an additional funding of AUD 1.3 million (US$ 977 000) made by the Government of Australia for the AIDS response. The additional funding will be used to scale up HIV prevention in Cambodia, Indonesia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Papua New Guinea. The funds will add to the AUD 4.5 million (US$ 3.3 million) annual contribution to UNAIDS that Australia has pledged for the next five years.
Fully funding the work of the UNAIDS Joint Programme is critical to ending the AIDS epidemic and achieving UNAIDS’ vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths.
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Executive Director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibé said, “Australia is a leading advocate in the AIDS response in Asia and the Pacific. This additional contribution is an important signal at a time when we need more energy and action in HIV prevention to ensure that everyone, particularly people at higher risk of HIV, can protect themselves against the virus.”
In 2016, around 5.1 million adults and children were estimated to be living with HIV in the Asia–Pacific region, some 260 000 people became newly infected with the virus and 170 000 people died of AIDS-related illnesses. Just under half (47%) of all people living with HIV in the Asia–Pacific region had access to antiretroviral therapy in 2016.
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