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Australia’s international development strategy for HIV Intensifying the Response: Halting the Spread of HIV [PDF 2.2 mb] was launched in April 2009.

Objectives and priorities in the strategy

The strategy aims to make a significant and sustained effort to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 6 target of halting and beginning to reverse the spread of HIV by 2015, through assisting partner countries achieve universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.

To achieve these targets, the strategy recommends a focus on six priorities:

  • intensifying HIV prevention;
  • optimising the role of health services within HIV responses;
  • strengthening coordination and capacity to scale up HIV responses;
  • reviewing legal and policy frameworks to enable effective responses to HIV;
  • building the evidence base for an effective HIV response; and
  • demonstrating and fostering leadership on HIV.

Geographic focus of the new strategy

The principal focus for Australia's support to the global HIV effort will continue to lie with the Asia Pacific region, particularly Papua New Guinea (PNG), East and South Asia and the Pacific Island countries.

In Africa, support is channelled through the Global Fund and UNAIDS and through partnerships in strategic areas where Australia can influence and add value.

Intensifying the Response: Halting the Spread of HIV [PDF 2.2 mb] describes the aims, priorities and principles guiding Australia's response to the global pandemic.

Australia’s major bilateral, regional and multilateral HIV programs include:

  • A new pledge of $210 million over three calendar years (2011–2013) to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (a 55 per cent increase on Australia’s previous three-year pledge)
  • $115 million for the PNG–Australia HIV and AIDS program (2007–2012) to expand prevention and treatment services
  • $68 million to PNG’s health sector HIV response (2007–2012), including support to develop STI clinics and for provincial health authorities
  • up to $100 million over 8 years (2008–2015) to Indonesia for HIV prevention and care
  • $59 million over nine years (2007–15) for a regional program across Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, the Philippines and China, with a focus on harm reduction among people who inject drugs
  • $25.5 million over four years (2009–2012) to UNAIDS
  • $30 million over five years (2009–2013) for the Pacific Islands HIV and STI Response Fund.

Australia's Global HIV Engagement

HIV is more than just a health issue. Addressing HIV needs political leadership to mobilise resources in a coordinated way across a broad range of fields. Partnerships need to extend beyond government to the private sector, civil society and community-based organisations to ensure an effective response to the disease and its impact. Thus Australia is active both in advocacy at the political level, and in activities designed to meet local needs and priorities.

Australia plays a strategic leadership role internationally by:

  • Belonging to a constituency on the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
  • Signing a Partnership Agreement with UNAIDS
  • Being Member of the steering committee for the Asia Pacific Leadership Forum on HIV/AIDS ( APLF)
  • Initiating the Asia-Pacific Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS
  • Working in partnership with the Clinton Health Access Initiative
  • Encouraging leadership and advocacy through Australia’s HIV Ambassador

Australia also works with the World Trade Organization and the World Health Organization to improve the accessibility and affordability of essential HIV/AIDS drugs.

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)

Established in 1996, UNAIDS is the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, comprised of a Secretariat and ten co-sponsoring agencies. It is a vital partner in our region. 

Under the Australia-UNAIDS Partnership Agreement, Australia will contribute $25.5 million over three years (2009-12). This includes core funding for the implementation of the Unified Budget and Workplan and extra budgetary funding to the Regional Support Team (RST) for the Asia Pacific Region.

See Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) [external website]

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

Head and shoulders photo of a Papua New Guinean wearing bright face paint and head dress

Member of Anglicare's STOPAIDS theatre group in PNG. The group,  which is supported by Australian Aid, stages plays at local markets, schools and other community places to help educate young people about HIV/AIDS. Photo by Rocky Roe 

The Global Fund is a global public-private partnership dedicated to attracting and disbursing additional resources to prevent and treat HIV, tuberculosis and malaria. This partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector and affected communities represents a new approach to international health financing. The Global Fund works in collaboration with other bilateral and multilateral organisations to supplement existing efforts dealing with the three diseases.

In October 2010 Australia announced a 55 per cent increase in our commitment to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, bringing our new pledge to $210 million over the next three calendar years. This is the same amount previously provided by Australia across seven years from 2004 to 2010.

The Global Fund has achieved impressive outcomes in the rapid raising and disbursement of funds to combat the three diseases. Since 2002, the Global Fund has approved funding of US$21.7 billion in 150 countries. It provides a quarter of international financing for HIV globally and two-thirds for tuberculosis and malaria.

To date, programs supported by the Global Fund have provided HIV treatment for more than 3 million people, tuberculosis treatment for 7.7 million people, and distributed 160 million insecticide-treated bed nets for the prevention of malaria worldwide.

See Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria [external website]        

Australia supports the Global Response to HIV through:

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and HIV: The Australian Government is strongly committed to the MDG goals and the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV and AIDS (UNGASS) commitments. Target: Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS.

UN General Assembly (UNGASS) commitments: In 2001 Australia endorsed the UNGASS Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS which included targets and indicators addressing the development of global and national strategies and the effectiveness of prevention, care, access to treatment and support systems.

UNGASS Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS 2006: In 2006 the UN General Assembly updated the commitments with a stronger focus on political leadership and resolved to scale up nationally driven, comprehensive responses to achieve coverage for prevention, treatment, care and support, with full and active participation of people living with HIV, vulnerable groups, most affected communities, civil society and the private sector. Target: Universal access to comprehensive prevention programmes, treatment, care and support by 2010.

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Last reviewed: 1 November, 2013