HIV/AIDS – Giving priority to prevention

Although the HIV/AIDS epidemic has stabilised overall, in certain countries the rate of infection continues to grow. Homophobia, discriminatory laws and gender-based violence undermine efforts to improve access for people affected by HIV/AIDS to the services they need. The SDC works on prevention and reducing social stigma in the global fight against HIV/AIDS.

The SDC's focus

Switzerland makes an active contribution to global efforts against HIV/AIDS by supporting international specialised agencies such as the WHO, UNAIDS, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and other international and regional organisations, associations and networks.

In its country-specific programmes, Switzerland focuses on prevention – particularly in connection with sexual and reproductive health programmes – and improving access to non-discriminatory treatment, care and support.

Non-health-related programmes also take this aspect into account in regions particularly affected by HIV/AIDS, such as the role of HIV-positive people and the impact the programme has on them and vice versa.

The SDC also supports different activities implemented by Swiss NGOs that are aimed at controlling HIV/AIDS at the international level, and assists them with networking and coordination in Switzerland.

In addition, the SDC works with the private sector and universities in this field.


Significant progress has been made in the fight against HIV/AIDS but considerable challenges remain. An estimated 37 million people in the world are living with HIV. In 2017, a tipping point was reached. For the first time, more than half of all people living with HIV received treatment, which has helped to lower the number of HIV-related deaths – by 35% between 2005 and 2014 alone. However, around 25% of all HIV-positive people are not even aware of their infection, which is why they do not seek treatment. Nonetheless, the number of new cases between 1996 and 2017 went down by 47% – although this figure has stagnated since then and another 1.7 million people became infected in 2017. The stigma and discrimination faced by HIV-positive people and population groups particularly affected by HIV/AIDS remains a huge challenge. It hinders effective prevention and access to treatment and HIV-related healthcare.

Switzerland made a significant contribution to the development of psychosocial support services for children and young people affected by HIV/AIDS in a number of southern African countries, which is helping to reduce discrimination and improve their prospects for the future.


Mainstreaming HIV in practice
A toolkit with a collection of resources, checklists and examples on CD Rom for SDC and its partners
[en] (PDF, 93 Pages, 9.9 MB, English)

United Nation's Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS
United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS, 25-27 June 2001
[en] (PDF, 52 Pages, 684.8 kB)

[fr] (PDF, 684.8 kB)
[es] (PDF, 53 Pages, 683.4 kB)

SDC HIV and AIDS Community of Practice
[en] (PDF, 3 Pages, 801.0 kB, English)

Mainstreaming: A Response to HIV and AIDS in Humanitarian Assistance
[en] (PDF, 3 Pages, 151.7 kB, English)

The Media in Education Trust Africa
[en] (PDF, 3 Pages, 138.4 kB, English)

Parliamentarians for Global Action
[en] (PDF, 3 Pages, 129.3 kB, English)

The Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative
[en] (PDF, 4 Pages, 331.5 kB, English)

Technical Assistance for the World Food Programme's HIV and AIDS Response
[en] (PDF, 315.5 kB, English)

SDC Support for SolidarMed's Antiretroviral Treatment Project (Smart)
[en] (PDF, 3 Pages, 169.4 kB, English)

A focus on psychosocial support
Africa Brief - November 2010
[en] (PDF, 8 Pages, 1.2 MB, English)

Current projects

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Safeguard Young People (SYP) - Tanzania

Safeguard Young People Programme

01.01.2024 - 31.12.2026

With 62% of its population below 25 years, the Safeguard Young People (SYP) programme supports Tanzania’s demographic dividend. The project advances young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) through a gender-responsive and inclusive policy environment, empowered youth who make informed decisions, and responsive health and education systems. SYP builds on 10 years of regional experience and UNFPA’s expertise.

UNAIDS Global Council on Inequality, AIDS and Pandemics

01.06.2023 - 31.05.2025

The 2021 UNAIDS Global AIDS Update shows that global HIV targets were missed because of inequalities. These are the same inequalities that fuel AIDS and other pandemics. Tackling inequalities can make a difference. The new Global Council on Inequality, AIDS and Pandemics will garner evidence and engage in political spaces to promote inequality-sensitive policies and solutions to drive the end of AIDS pandemic and help the world to better prepare for and prevent other pandemics.  

Core Contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria 2023-2025

01.01.2023 - 31.12.2025

The Global Fund collects and channels a big share of international funds to end HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, which mostly affect the poorest and most vulnerable people in low- and middle-income countries. Its support to country programmes has saved 44 million lives since 2002. In the coming years, the challenge is to regain lost ground in the fight against the three diseases and to further strengthening health systems to ensure impact, sustainability, and better preparedness and response to pandemics.

Switzerland aims to improve health and psychosocial outcomes for adolescents and young people infected with HIV through support to the Zvandiri peer-to-peer programme. Peer interventions positively influence HIV testing rates, treatment uptake, retention in care and viral suppression. This programme is integrated within and seeks to strengthen the public health system. SDC will partner with Africaid, the primary government partner for this approach, and support Africaid’s ambitions to expand the model to Zambia.

01.11.2021 - 31.10.2025

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