AIDS at 30: The World Bank Fights an Epidemic
- AIDS at 30: The World Bank Fights an Epidemic
- 1981 Mystery Disease AIDS first appears as a wasting disease of unknown origins and unclear transmission methods. For years, the global response to the disease would lag, hampered by fear, ignorance and prejudice.
1985 A New Contagion Despite an estimated 10 million infections worldwide, global funding for AIDS remains low. After a visit to Botswana, a World Bank demographer warns the contagion is decimating a generation of young adults. The issue takes on new urgency.
1987 First HIV Studies In 1987, the World Bank funds its first two studies on HIV/ADS in Tanzania and Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) to collect data and determine the impact of condom use for prevention. Bank-funded HIV/AIDS projects in India and Haiti follow.
1996Global Partnership The Bank joins five other international organizations to form UNAIDS. The agency catalyzes funding for HIV programs in low- and middle-income countries, which by 1996 have received just $300 million to fight the disease, though they account for 95% of HIV cases.
- 1995-1998Brazil & India Out Front Brazil provides free, universal access to antiretroviral drugs for anyone who needs them. With World Bank support, the effort will reduce mother-to-child transmisson of HIV from 16% to around 3% in 2011. India's response, which focuses on HIV prevention among high-risk groups, will avert 3 million HIV infections between 1995 and 2009.
Photo by Andre Maceira
- 1999-2000A Strategy for Africa The World Bank's new ActAfrica strategy recognizes HIV/AIDS as a key danger to economic and social development in Africa, allocating more money and expertise to HIV/AIDS activities. “AIDS is turning back the clock on development. In too many countries the gains in life expectancy won are being wiped out,” Bank President Jim Wolfensohn tells the U.N.
- 2000 New Era of Aid The World Bank creates the groundbreaking Multi-Country AIDS program (MAP) to reach villagers, truck drivers, sex workers, and others at risk of contracting the disease across Africa. The Bank's $1 billion commitment foreshadows an unprecedented era of donor aid for HIV/AIDS.
- 2001 Kenya's 'Total War' on AIDS The World Bank finances Kenya's "Total War on AIDS" with an initial $50 million, $30 million of which will go to community initiatives. By 2005, the adult HIV prevalence rate will have dropped to 6% from over 10% in the late 1990s. By 2010, 75% of Kenyans who need antiretroviral treatment will receive it.
- 2008 Funding Slows Donor fatigue and the global economic downturn begin to erode years of robust funding for HIV/AIDS programs. Country efforts to reach Millennium Development Goal 6, to halt and reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS by 2015, appear under threat.
Photo by Adam Jones.
- 2009 Reaching MillionsBy 2009, the World Bank's Fund for the Poorest has supported AIDS projects in 67 countries. These projects have provided 1.5 million women with drugs to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission, and have reached more than 173 million people with prevention services.
- 2010 Lifesaving Drugs An estimated 6 million people living with HIV/AIDS in low- and middle-income countries are receiving lifesaving medications, but 53% of those eligible for treatment still lack access. In 2010, 2.7 million people become newly infected with HIV.
- 2011 Unwavering Commitment The World Bank remains committed to doing its part to help countries halt and reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS. Globally, stabilizing prevalence rates and progress toward a vaccine provide hope.