UK government to cut international HIV support to UNAIDS by 80%

Simon Collins, HIV i-Base

On 29 April 2021, UNAIDS responded to the UK decision to reduce support from the UK for 2020 from £15 million to 2.5 million.

This is disturbing for both the direct loss of funding and the signal it sends to other international donors.

The press release stated:

“This cut of £12.5 million (or more than 80%) is significant. It affects the provision of live-saving HIV prevention and treatment services around the world. It affects the empowerment of young women and adolescent girls and their access to sexual and reproductive health and rights across the world, and Africa in particular. It impacts on support to upholding the human rights of some of the most marginalized people, including lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, queer and intersex people in low- and middle-income countries. It reduces global health security.

UNAIDS recognises the challenging situation facing many governments, yet deeply regrets this decision of our longstanding partner and advocate. We are assessing the full scope and impact of the cut and are actively formulating mitigation strategies.

The UK government has said the decision does not reflect a diminished commitment to UNAIDS or the HIV response. UNAIDS will continue working with the UK and partners to explore ways to ensure continuity and predictability of funding to sustain the hard-won gains in the fight against HIV and to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.

The UK has been a leader in the fight against AIDS. It has called for the G7 to be centred on beating pandemics and is rallying the world for girls’ education and empowerment. UNAIDS is determined to deliver breakthroughs on those together with the UK. We hope that the UK, which has rated UNAIDS ‘A’ for delivery, will decide to supplement its current allocation for 2021.”


UNAIDS press statement. UNAIDS statement on UK’s proposed reduction in financial support. (29 April 2021).


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