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HIV/AIDS: Sector Results Profile

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AIDS vigil

Meeting the Challenge: The World Bank and HIV/AIDS


The World Bank was a leader in global HIV/AIDS financing in the early days of the emergency, and since 1989 has provided US$4.6 billion for HIV-AIDS-related activities. Bank activities—in particular through the International Development Association (IDA)—has financed 1,500 counseling and testing sites, ultimately testing nearly 7 million people for HIV. It has funded more than 65,000 civil society HIV initiatives in Sub-Saharan Africa, educated 173 million people about HIV/AIDS, and has mitigated the impact of AIDS for 1.8 million children and half a million adults through 38,000 grassroots initiatives.

Full Brief—6 Pages
Meeting the Challenge: The World Bank and HIV/AIDS
—PDF, July 2012



Most of the world’s 34 million people living with HIV/AIDS are in developing countries. In 2010, 2.7 million people became newly-infected with HIV, and 1.8 million died of HIV-related illnesses. Sub-Saharan Africa accounted for 68 percent of all new infections and nearly half of all deaths globally in 2010 occurred in Southern Africa. Even where the overall HIV prevalence is low, AIDS can be a severe burden: It is the leading cause of premature death in Thailand and China. Although 6.6 million people are accessing treatment globally, 7.6 million who need it do not have it. Moreover, for every one person on treatment, two are infected. Without effective HIV prevention, the numbers requiring treatment will become unsustainable.


When possible, the Bank participates in the pooling of funds, as part of the joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) family and other partners, to ensure more effective and efficient responses in regions and countries, consistent with the UNAIDS vision of zero new infections, zero AIDS-related deaths, and zero discrimination. The Bank responds to country needs within the context of Country Assistance Strategies, which take account of support from other partners and the governments’ funding for effective prevention of new HIV infections, care, and treatment.


IDA has funded more than 65,000 civil society projects; purchased and/or distributed 1.3 billion male condoms and delivered 4 million female condoms for the prevention of HIV, sexually transmitted diseases, and unwanted pregnancies; allowed 3 million pregnant women to receive antenatal care; and delivered antiretroviral therapies to almost 2 million adults and children with HIV, and treatment for HIV-related infections for nearly 300,000 more.



There has been a tremendous scale-up of prevention interventions under this program, which has led to an overall reduction in new infections and AIDS-related deaths in India.

— Sayan Chatterjee, Secretary and Director General of India’s National AIDS Control Organisation


The Bank plays a global leadership role and is a founding cosponsor of UNAIDS, and works closely with global partners in the UNAIDS family to deliver results. The Bank also helped create the Global Fund and serves on its board and as trustee. The Bank plays a strong role in promoting donor harmonization, coordination, and alignment.

Toward the Future

The Bank continues to view HIV/AIDS as a fundamental development problem, focusing especially on HIV strategic planning, prevention, care, and treatment services, along with social protection for people affected by HIV. The Bank will continue to support countries to achieve the greatest impact, utilize the most cost-effective prevention activities, utilizing our analytical and advisory work and funding. Additionally, the Bank will make a targeted effort utilizing results-based financing to scale up prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, in support of our pledge to help countries accelerate progress on maternal and child health, in line with the Millennium Development Goals.

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