SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2016

Global Fund receives $100 million to increase HIV treatment in Cote d'Ivoire

The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria said on Wednesday that HIV services have been increased in Cote d'Ivoire to enable nearly all HIV-positive women to receive treatment by 2016.

The Global Fund received two grants totaling more than $100 million to further the treatment of HIV-positive women, and help prevent transmission of the disease from mother to children. Mother-to-child transmission is a "significant factor" in the HIV endemic in Cote d'Ivoire, which has the highest rate of HIV infection in West Africa.

"This signing is a concrete translation of the joint commitment by the Global Fund and UNAIDS to Cote d'Ivoire, financially and also for capacity building," Cote d'Ivoire Minister of Health Raymonde Goudou Coffie said. "These funds will be used for the most vulnerable populations."

The Global Fund will increase its contribution to antiretroviral treatment from 30 percent to 45 percent of the national need. The number of people receiving treatment is expected to be more than 160,000 living with HIV by September 2016, an increase from 109,243 people in June 2013.

An expansion of funding for HIV/AIDS programs since 2005 has played a part in a 51 percent decrease in HIV-related deaths, according to UNAIDS.

The grants will also fund prevention activities among sex workers and men who have sex with men, and provide support to victims of gender-based violence and condom distribution.