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Phl still eligible for Global Fund support

The Global Fund released the list of countries eligible for GF support. Fact check: Philippines is not yet sustainable. Good news: The country is still eligible for GF support. This is needed considering the country’s worsening HIV problem, and the lacking government and even CSO responses.

As the Red Ribbon Project eyes to help the country get to zero (i.e. zero new HIV infection, zero AIDS-related death, and zero HIV-related discrimination), its beauty queens - Binibining ARV-Universe, Bb. ARV-World and Bb. ARV-International; joined by Miss ARG 2012 - gives the "beauty with a purpose" tagline flesh, this time by reaching out to Filipino PLHIVs in RITM. "That there's still something to live for," is the goal of the outreach, said Pozzie Pinoy, who helms Red Ribbon Project - seconded by Bb. ARV-Universe, who said in the vernacular that "if we can - even for a while - shed some hope, that's good and well."

The Global Fund (GF) released the list of countries eligible for GF support. Fact check: Philippines is not yet sustainable. Good news: The country is still eligible for GF support.

The list was released following GF’s declaration that the 5th Replenishment was a success, with pledges from governments, private sector, and individual donors reaching $12.9 billion. This money will finance the implementation of the new GF strategy that emphasizes key population-focussed interventions and human rights-informed and gender transformative programming. Since its establishment, GF has invested $6.6 billion in the Asia-Pacific region; it provided anti-retroviral treatment access to 1.2 million people, has supported 9.6 million TB treatments, and distributed 80 million mosquito nets.

Under GF’s new strategy and the recently approved co-financing, sustainability and transition policy, countries will be supported to develop plans to transition out of donor support and will be required and incentivized to increase further their domestic investments in the three diseases (i.e. HIV, TB and malaria).

In APAC, the eligible countries include:

For HIV, TB, and Malaria components – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, DPR Korea, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

For HIV and TB components – Kiribati, Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Tonga, and Tuvalu

For HIV component – Iran

For TB component – Palau

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Eligibility for GF support is based on income classification (as determined by the World Bank) and disease burden indicators (based on indicators from the WHO and UNAIDS).

Country components are taken out of the eligibility list if:

  • A country reaches “high income” classification
  • A country moves to Upper-Middle Income (UMI) status and with low or moderate disease burden
  • A Upper-Middle Income status country’s disease burden decreases to low or moderate
  • A G20 country mores to UMI status, and disease burden is less than extreme
  • A country joins the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC)

Based on projections, by 2025, 24 countries are expected to have at least one components becoming ineligible for GF funding and 13 countries fully ineligible for GF.

The Philippines is projected to become ineligible for the malaria component in 2017-2017, based on the country’s move to UMI status. But it may still receive transition funding in 2020-2022.

Pertaining dealing with HIV and AIDS in the Philippines, this is good news considering the continuing dependence of the country on international funding. But numerous problems exist, including the slow adaption of safer sexual practices, such as condom use, TasP, PEP and PrEP; non-harmonization of HIV-related services offered even by government-backed treatment hubs; under-reporting of HIV among non-MSM; and the seeming hijacking of the HIV advocacy by paper-pushers who profit from it.

In Baguio City, the continuing worsening HIV situation in the Philippines made the front page of a local publication, highlighting how, truly, this is an issue that cannot - must not - be ignored.

In Baguio City, the continuing worsening HIV situation in the Philippines made the front page of a local publication, highlighting how, truly, this is an issue that cannot – must not – be ignored.

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