HIV and infectious diseases

Educating about the risks of HIV infection in Zimbabwe

More than 35 million people are currently living with HIV and about one million people die of AIDS-related diseases every year. Other infectious diseases such as TB, malaria or hepatitis C are similarly devastating. Although Sub-Saharan Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia are the most affected regions, international mobility makes these communicable diseases a concern for global public health. Specific groups who are often marginalized in society are often more prone to infection and less likely to access services. Infectious diseases are therefore as much a human rights issue as a matter of public health. But there is also hope: joint efforts of governments, communities and international partners have led to a decline in new HIV infections by over a third since 2000, and around 16 million people now have access to live-saving anti-retroviral treatment.

Efforts of German Development Cooperation in this area include:

  • HIV-specific bilateral programmes in a number of countries focus on multi-sectoral approaches to prevention; for example, by bringing the health and education sectors together to educate and empower young people to stay free of HIV. 
  • Germany is one of the leading funders of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. Both international partnerships provide support to countries facing high burdens or risks of infectious diseases. 
  • A key priority for Germany is to integrate interventions on specific diseases such as HIV into broader health systems and interventions on sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Selected readings from the Healthy DEvelopments portal

HIV and infectious diseases on other German Development Cooperation websites


BMZ glossary

Close window


Share page