Countdown to Zero
Through powerful synergies, Countdown to Zero – the Global Plan Towards the Elimination of New HIV Infections Among Children by 2015 and Keeping Their Mothers Alive – will make significant contributions to achieving the health-related and gender-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health. Such synergies are all the more important in countries where HIV currently accounts for a significant proportion of all adult female and/or child mortality and the AIDS epidemic is impeding progress in reducing child mortality (MDG 4) and improving maternal health (MDG 5). To support the rapid acceleration of efforts to stop new HIV infections among children, significant new resources have been pledged. These include an additional US$75 million from the United States, US$40 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, US$20 million from Chevron, and US$15 million from Johnson and Johnson. The African Development Bank is making up to US$5 million available and the Islamic Development Bank is considering proposals for a total of US$1.5 million.
The Global Plan was led by a high-level task team co-chaired by Michel Sidibé of UNAIDS and Ambassador Eric Goosby of PEPFAR, and included Member States, communities of women living with HIV, civil society, the private sector and philanthropic foundations. It was launched In June 2011 at the UN High Level Meeting (HLM) on AIDS. The HLM also adopted the goals of eliminating new HIV infections among children by 2015and reducing maternal deaths.