RWANDA—Rwanda is set to receive reduced funding from global organizations in its battle against HIV/AIDS, as resources are being reallocated to nations facing greater challenges in the fight, according to the local daily, The New Times.

This shift in funding allocation is attributed to the organizations redirecting resources to nations that are deemed to be further behind in the battle against the disease.

Hind Hassan, the UNAIDS Representative in Rwanda, shared this information during the World AIDS Day commemoration on Thursday, November 30, in Kigali, Rwanda.

Rwanda has made significant strides in managing HIV/AIDS, successfully meeting the “95-95-95” target set by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

This target aims to diagnose 95% of all HIV-positive individuals, provide ART to 95% of those diagnosed, and achieve viral suppression in 95% of those treated by 2030, as outlined in the ‘The Path that Ends AIDS’ report by UNAIDS.

Due to the substantial progress made by Rwanda and other countries, donors are revising their funding focus to address the needs of nations facing greater challenges in combating HIV/AIDS, according to Hassan.

Furthermore, she highlighted UNAIDS’ consideration of domestic resource financing and mobilization, including engaging the private sector to generate resources for an effective response.

In 2022, funding for HIV declined from both international and domestic sources, reverting to the 2013 funding level, totaling US$20.8 billion—falling significantly short of the US$29.3 billion needed by 2025.

Rwanda heavily relies on external resources to care for over 220,000 people living with HIV.

Antiretroviral medication, crucial to treatment, is sourced from foreign countries through financing arrangements primarily supported by the Global Fund or the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

Expressing concerns about reduced donor aid, Sylvie Muneza, the Chairperson of the Rwanda Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS, emphasized the importance of additional donors to meet the set targets.

The Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) acknowledged the resource gap and prioritized closing it, focusing on sustainable financing for the national HIV response.

Basile Ikuzo, the Director of the HIV Prevention Unit at RBC, affirmed concerns about aid reduction but highlighted the government’s commitment to taking alternative measures to counter the changes.

The government’s HIV response plan underscores the need to explore cost-minimizing strategies, increase efficiency gains, and develop a long-term strategy to boost domestic funding for the HIV program.

In pursuit of sustainable solutions, Rwanda is involving the private sector and encouraging its increased participation in HIV response through health investments.

Dr. Sabin Nsanzimana, the Minister of Health, emphasized the ongoing challenges in combating AIDS, noting the persisting cases and infections among young people.

He stressed the importance of testing, treatment initiation, and adherence, reinforcing the country’s commitment to addressing HIV/AIDS challenges.

The prevalence of HIV among adults in Rwanda, as per the Rwanda Population-Based HIV Impact Assessment (RPHIA), conducted between October 2018 and March 2019, was recorded at 3.0 percent.