A USD $ 29 billion investment can end AIDS by the end of the decade.

Global, regional, national and subnational inequalities and differences in progress continue to hamper progress towards ending AIDS by 2030. Significant variations in progress worldwide point to the fact that equally significant investments are needed to accelerate the HIV response to reach the global targets. The rate of progress is continually slowing down—as are increases in access to treatment and efforts ending AIDS-related mortalities.

Read about investing in the UNICEF HIV/AIDS Fund: HERE.

The Issue

The unsettling reality is that we know how to diagnose, treat, and prevent HIV. We know what needs to be done to save lives from this preventable infection. However, getting treatment to those who need it requires more than just commitment—it requires investments to scale up these life-saving services and reach those left behind.
Every year, HIV resources fall short of their global targets. The direct result of this is the failure to meet global programmatic targets. The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), of which UNICEF is a co-sponsor, emphasizes that the resources required to finance the HIV response and achieve the goal of ending AIDS by 2030 are not unaffordable. UNAIDS is calling for an investment of USD $ 29 billion by 2025 to meet the needs of low- and middle-income countries in the AIDS response.

The USD $ 107 million spent on UNICEF’s global HIV response in 2015 was a 43% decrease from 2009.


On the global level, funding for HIV/AIDS is flat-lining, triggering a shortage of USD $ 1.5 billion to meet the fast-track goals for 2030. In 2015, UNICEF observed a 43% decrease in funding for its global HIV response, as compared to 2009. Looking at the situation more broadly, resources in low- and middle-income countries observed a peak in 2017, after which they began to decline. In 2019, only 71% of the 2020 target—USD $ 18.6 billion—was made available. The impact of insufficient investment resulted in the failure to meet any of the set 2020 global programmatic targets. Even more devastating is the human cost of this failure. Between 2015 and 2020, an additional 3.5 million people were infected with HIV, and an additional 820,000 people died of AIDS-related illnesses. This is the cost of inaction.
Had the 2020 programmatic targets been met, overall resource needs for the HIV response would have peaked in 2020, and started to decrease in the following years—with USD $ 25.6 billion needed in 2025, and USD $ 23.9 billion in 2030. The current situation has necessitated more ambitious targets and larger resource needs for 2025 in order to remain on track to end AIDS by 2030. The proposed US$ 29 billion investment would be used toward: HIV prevention and treatment services, integration and other health services, societal enablers, and managing and tracking the response.

UNICEF’S Value-Add

As a technical agency, UNICEF has extensive and profound experience in leveraging results in the HIV/AIDS space. Under the current circumstances, where expectations are heightened and resources are limited, UNICEF’s multi-level engagement and multi-dimensional capacities will be critical in helping countries provide care, effectively and efficiently, to those who want and need them.

  1. Multi-sectoral approach. UNICEF is able to bring the whole “power of UNICEF” to initiate change by leveraging its extensive technical and programmatic implementation expertise. UNICEF’s approach emphasizes differentiation to better tailor response to country context and achieve results, efficiently.
  2. Knowledge leader. UNICEF is the global custodian for data on children, including data on HIV/AIDS in children. UNICEF is a knowledge and strategic information leader, with valuable capacities for disaggregated data collection and analysis, ability to perform state-of-the art data visualization, skilled engagement through compelling data storytelling.
  3. Strong co-convening and co-creating capacity at national and community levels. Setting it apart from many other global actors in the HIV/AIDS space is UNICEF’s reach and impact both on the ground through its deep field presence. UNICEF has formed close relationships with national governments, enabling it to operate at various touchpoints along the HIV response pathway, from the legislative level to the level of communities. This wide-reaching capacity allows UNICEF to ensure the sustainability and effectiveness  of its interventions.
  4. Track record of impactful innovation. UNICEF has a history of developing and supporting HIV/AIDS innovation that have had lasting impact (the offering of PrEP for adolescents for example), and experience scaling up proven innovations into interventions

What We Do

UNICEF’s HIV and AIDS programme is centred on three populations—children, adolescents, and pregnant women.

  • A top priority for infants with HIV exposure is testing as early as possible, and initiating immediate treatment if needed. Unfortunately, the processing time for some HIV status-confirming lab tests can take up to several weeks. In sub-Saharan Africa, UNICEF is scaling up POC diagnostics so that infants can be tested and started on treatment on the same day. Additionally, UNICEF is working on locating, connecting and retaining children who did not receive early testing or continued treatment and care. One of the ways this is being done is through family-based index case testing.

Read more about investment opportunities for the private sector HERE.


  • UNICEF is supporting a combination approach to reducing HIV infection in adolescent girls and boys. This approach combines innovative biomedical, behavioural, and structural interventions. Such examples include: pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), HIV self-testing, HIV sensitive protection services and mobile communication to improve access to treatment and care.

Read more about investment opportunities for the private sector HERE.

Pregnant Women

  • It is critical for women living with HIV to have reliable access to services to keep them alive and stop the transmission of HIV to their children during pregnancy, delivery, or breastfeeding. To prevent transmission, UNICEF is working on providing continued support, as well as facilitating frequent testing of mothers and their babies during pregnancy and linking those who are testing positive to timely and lifetime ART and care.

Read more about investment opportunities for the private sector HERE.


Opportunities for the Private Sector

The private sector has an important role to play in the HIV response and can further the strides made by UNICEF and partners by leveraging its expertise and assets to respond to the needs of hard-to-reach children. The private sector can partner with UNICEF in the following activities to realize a shared vision of a healthy, HIV/AIDS-free future:

  • Financing
  • Innovation and Technology
  • Expertise
  • Data and Evidence Generation
  • Advocacy, Communication, and Influence


Our Partners

USAID/CDC/PEPFAR        Global Fund             ViiV Healthcare

Unitaid        EGPAF       M.A.C. AIDS Fund        Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF)

Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

Mothers2Mothers Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+)