IFRC and UNAIDS join forces to reach 15 million people with HIV treatment by 2015

Published: 4 March 2014

Geneva, 4 March 2014 – The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to advance efforts in scaling up access to HIV testing and treatment. The IFRC and UNAIDS will combine expertise and capacity to support the implementation of UNAIDS’ Treatment 2015 initiative and develop a community model for delivering scaled-up access to HIV treatment.

In the 2011 Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS, United Nations Member States committed to working towards ensuring 15 million people living with HIV have access to antiretroviral treatment by 2015. By the end of 2012, around 10 million people had access to the lifesaving treatment—three quarters were in Africa.

“Red Cross Red Crescent volunteers deliver health services to millions of people, including some of the most marginalized people in hard-to-reach communities,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “By supporting the volunteers, engaging people living with HIV and strengthening community-based services I strongly believe we will be able to exceed the target of reaching 15 million people with treatment by 2015.”

It is estimated that only half of all people living with HIV are aware of their HIV status, highlighting the urgent need to expand access to HIV testing services. Voluntary and confidential HIV testing is central to UNAIDS’ Treatment 2015 initiative. The initiative outlines three fundamental pillars essential to reaching the 2015 target; Demand––increasing demand for HIV testing and treatment services; Invest––mobilizing resources and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of spending; and Deliver––ensuring more people have equal access to HIV testing and treatment.

"The community health workforce has the capacity to provide almost 40 per cent of HIV service-related tasks,” said Bekele Geleta, Secretary General, IFRC. “Our decades of experience in HIV testing campaigns, treatment adherence and compliance will inform a successful community service delivery model like the one we are developing in Kenya, Malawi and Nigeria. The solution is at hand but the time to invest in decentralized services is now if we are to avert millions of deaths by 2015 and beyond.”

For further information, please contact:

UNAIDS Geneva | Sophie Barton-Knott | tel. +41 22 791 1697 | bartonknotts@unaids.org

IFRC Geneva | Ombretta Baggio | tel. +41 79 708 48 27 | ombretta.baggio@ifrc.org

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations—UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank—and works closely with global and national partners to maximize results for the AIDS response. Learn more at unaids.org and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.


The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the worlds largest volunteer-based humanitarian network, reaching 150 million people each year through its 189 member National Societies. Together, IFRC acts before, during and after disasters and health emergencies to meet the needs and improve the lives of vulnerable people. It does so with impartiality as to nationality, race, gender, religious beliefs, class and political opinions. For more information, please visit www.ifrc.org. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.