Health sector spending on HIV/AIDS: Progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 3


  • Heather Mason
  • Medical News
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In 2015, 193 member states of the United Nations adopted the 2030 agenda for sustainable development. They identified 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets to catalyse "peace and prosperity for people and the planet." Efforts have been made to quantify progress towards SDG3 that aims to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all, at all ages. 

This study assesses spending and explores the association with health gains for SDG3 targets related to HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, universal health coverage, financial risk protection, and development assistance for health (DAH).

Results found that since 2015 global health spending has increased, reaching $7.9 trillion in  2017 and is expected to increase to $11.0 trillion by 2030. In 2017, in low-income and middle-income countries spending on HIV/AIDS was $20.2 billion. DAH was $40.6 billion in 2019 and HIV/AIDS has been the health focus area to receive the highest contribution since 2004. In 2019, $374 million of DAH was provided for pandemic preparedness, less than 1% of DAH. Although spending has increased across HIV/AIDS, since 2015, spending has not increased in all countries, and outcomes in terms of prevalence, incidence, and per-capita spending have been mixed. The proportion of health spending from pooled sources is expected to increase from 81.6% (81.6–81.7) in 2015 to 83.1% (82.8–83.3) in 2030.

The WHO’s 13th General Programme of Work, and research done by the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors study (GBD), have made efforts to quantify the progress of SDG3. However, tracking financial resources has been less researched. This is crucial to ensure transparency of where resources are used, and the association between outcomes and financing.

For some low-income countries, the results highlight that the available resources seem insufficient to achieve SDG3 targets by 2030. Constraints in health care systems, inefficiencies of resource allocation, weak governance system, human resource shortages, in addition to funding, need addressing to meet the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3.