The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) has announced an investment of $25 million to the Global Fund as part of efforts to tackle diseases such as Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), tuberculosis and Malaria, dedicated to scaling HIV self-testing.
The foundation made the announcement at the Global Fund Replenishment Summit hosted by French President, Emmanuel Macron in Lyon.
Speaking on the deal, Executive Director for Adolescence at CIFF, Miles Kemplay, explained that the foundation aimed to promote self-care by championing HIV self-testing and other methods.
He said these were some of the most powerful ways for youth, women and men to take control of their sexual and reproductive health.
“People deserve the choice to test when they want, where they want and how they want, he added.
Executive Director of the Global Fund, Peter Sands, reiterated that the CIFF – Global Fund partnership was designed to increase funding for country programmes that have ambitious HIV self-testing goals as well as put supportive policies in place for people to easily access self-tests.
“We applaud CIFF’s investment as there is an urgent need to engage people who would not normally test in traditional settings. Self-testing is innovative and seeks to break the cycle of HIV transmission, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.
“By accelerating access to HIV self-testing, we can get closer to controlling HIV as a public health threat.
More people will know their status so that those with HIV can start treatment while those who are negative can access prevention services,” he added.
Assistant Director-General at World Health Organisation, WHO, Dr. Ren Minghui, further assured that the investment would contribute significantly to scaling up the pioneering progress of the Unitaid-funded Self Testing in Africa (STAR) Initiative.
He informed that the project was supported by WHO. “HIV self-testing is an innovative tool that enables people to take initiative, empowering them to find out their HIV status without delay. WHO commends our partners, CIFF and the Global Fund for making this major new investment today.
“This will help millions more people to access HIV self-testing through national programmes.”
The Fund will be made available to a few countries that will potentially include Nigeria.