Email Updates

You are here

A Target That Worked: "3 by 5"

The "3 by 5" initiative, launched by UNAIDS and WHO in 2003, was a global target to provide three million people living with HIV/AIDS in low- and middle- income countries with antiretroviral treatment (ART) by the end of 2005. It was positioned as a critical interim a step toward universal access to HIV treatment.

The target was audacious, to say the least. By 2003, 30 million people had died of HIV-related illness. Forty million people were living with HIV in low- and middle-income countries, six million people with HIV/AIDS needed immediate ART based on eligibility criteria at the time. Less than eight percent had access to treatment.

To meet this target, WHO, countries and other partners developed a plan to train 100,000 health workers, strengthen health systems and build the infrastructure needed to provide ART. When the 3 by 5 target was launched, there was an estimated US$5.5 billion funding gap in the resources needed to meet the goal. But commitments from PEPFAR and the GFATM changed that picture.

Both the funding need gap and treatment target goal were met in 2007.

While the target wasn’t met on time, it still changed the course of the epidemic. The number of people on tr eatment more than doubled between 2003 and 2005, from 400,000 to approximately one million, and by 2007 the number of people on treatment reached three million.

Also by 2005, 14 low- and middle-income countries were providing ART to at least half of the people in need, and several were moving towards universal access.