The German contribution to containing the worldwide spread of HIV and AIDS

Prospective teachers in Mozambique inform colleagues about the risks of HIV infection

Fighting the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) is one of the priority areas of German development cooperation in the field of health. The most important goals of German activities in this area are to reduce the number of new HIV infections, to improve healthcare provision and therapy, and to enable those living with HIV and their families to live in dignity. The objective is to mitigate the social and economic consequences of HIV and AIDS.

In 2016 Germany contributed 56 million euros of its funding for bilateral and multilateral development cooperation to preventing new HIV infections, treating those who are HIV positive and combating their social exclusion. Cooperation with 10 partner countries in the field of health is a priority area, while specific healthcare projects in another 16 countries also receive backing.

Aside from these measures, which are geared directedly to fighting the epidemic, the majority of other programmes within German development cooperation are helping to halt the HIV epidemic. The commitment to fight HIV and AIDS – like the struggle against poverty or gender inequality – is an overarching goal of German development policy. That is why all development cooperation measures take account of the issue.

German programmes to contain HIV

Mobile HIV testing in Sao Tomé and Principe.

German programmes to contain HIV in developing countries focus on five major areas:

  • Cooperation and coordination between the various actors involved in containing the epidemic
  • Prevention
  • Strengthening healthcare and therapy
  • Creating a climate of solidarity and non-discrimination
  • Monitoring and quality control of all measures.

Germany has, for example, signed agreements with Zambia, South Africa and Ukraine to launch bilateral HIV prevention programmes. The programmes cover comprehensive HIV education, access for disadvantaged groups to HIV-specific health services and enhancing partner organisationsʼ capabilities.

Examples of other development programmes which also include measures to combat HIV and AIDS are those on promoting sexual and reproductive health, on strengthening healthcare systems and educational projects. All these programmes are supported by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Sign in a tree with the inscription: Break the silence. Talk about HIV/AIDS.

Involving target groups and civil society is an important cornerstone of all the programmes. Germany also cooperates with business, for instance as part of workplace health promotion programmes. The social consequences of HIV and AIDS are reduced by providing support to poor households, AIDS orphans and other vulnerable children.

German activities at international level

In Maputo, the capital of Mozambique, a staff member of the laboratory of the German AIDS Foundation tests blood samples.

Germany works closely with international organisations when it comes to containing the HIV epidemic. Germany contributes significant amounts of funding to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM), among other initiatives. More than 2.5 billion euros in funding has been provided to the work of the Global Fund since it was founded in 2002. Germany is its fourth largest donor, contributing a total of 1 billion euros in the period 2020 to 2022.

For many years, Germany has also supported the European Union’s and the World Bank’s programmes to fight the HIV epidemic. Germany also cooperates with numerous UN organisations in this area, including the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

BMZ glossary

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