Progress on global access to HIV antiretroviral therapy: a report on 3 by 5 and beyond

Progress report March 2006


ISBN 92 4 159413 6
ISBN 978 92 4 159413 4

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) jointly launched the “3 by 5” strategy in December 2003, with the objective of helping low- and middle-income countries provide treatment to 3 million people living with HIV/AIDS by the end of 2005. The “3 by 5” target challenged governments, foundations, corporations and the United Nations system to scale up access to antiretroviral therapy as quickly and effectively as possible. The objective was both to deliver drugs and to build health care capacity by mobilizing donor country and national resources, training health care workers, educating communities, expanding testing and counselling and scaling up HIV prevention.

The “3 by 5” target has not been met on time. However, the ongoing effort to expand access to antiretroviral therapy has brought about positive change and has paved the way for far greater advances towards the ultimate goal of universal access to HIV treatment and care. In two years, the number of people receiving antiretroviral therapy in low-and middle-income countries has more than tripled, and access to antiretroviral therapy in the world’s hardest-hit region, sub-Saharan Africa, has increased by more than 800%. Today, more than 1.3 million people in low- and middle-income countries are receiving treatment. In 2005, between 250 000 and 350 000 deaths were averted because treatment is available. Every year of life gained provides greater economic stability, food security and educational opportunities for the families of those living with HIV/AIDS and strengthens their wider communities.

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