Dec 1, 2020 - Health

Expert: Pandemic has disrupted 80% of The Global Fund’s AIDS and HIV programs

Gayle E. Smith President & CEO, ONE Campaign
Axios founder Mike Allen (left) and Gayle E. Smith, president and CEO, ONE Campaign. Photo: Axios

80% of The Global Fund's AIDS and HIV programs around the world have been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, ONE Campaign president and CEO Gayle E. Smith said on Tuesday at an Axios virtual event.

Why it matters: The pandemic has diverted resources and attention from efforts to care for patients with AIDS and HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis, as well as restricted medication delivery to regions that are the most affected, per The New York Times.

What they're saying: "We understand countries obviously have to focus first and foremost on how [the COVID] pandemic is affecting them," Smith said, while noting a lack of "a robust international response" that there was for HIV and AIDS.

  • "The world also needs to look at and realize that this is global. I mean, if you think about the impact on the world's poorest countries, it's not just the virus. It's the same economic shock that we're seeing elsewhere. But they've got less to fall back on."
  • "We've seen the disruption of 80% of The Global Fund's HIV and AIDS programs. Those are going to translate into losses for people and for economies over time."
  • "With this pandemic, we're seeing the first increase in extreme poverty in over 20 years," she added.

Watch the event.

Go deeper