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Fully financing the HIV response to accelerate achievement of the 2030 goals for epidemic control will lead to a 40% to 90% reduction in new infections, and produce substantial health, social and economic gains in African countries.

These findings are highlighted in a new report issued by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), entitled 'A Triple Dividend: The health, social and economic gains from financing the HIV response in Africa'. 

Political commitment and bold action are needed to ensure that monetary constraints will not undermine efforts to end the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat.

In this webinar, key speakers will introduce the report, clarify its findings, and lead a reflective session on measures to adequately resource the HIV response and save millions of lives.

DATE & TIME: FRIDAY, 26 MAY 14H00-15H30 (GMT+2)

Welcome and setting the ground rules by the moderator/s
  • Dr Yogan Pillay is currently the Director: HIV & TB Delivery, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 
  • Dr Liesl Page-Shipp is the TB & HIV Senior Programme Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Ms Eva Kiwango is the UNAIDS Representative and Country Director for South Africa

Opening remarks

  • Dr Yogan Pillay, Director: HIV & TB Delivery, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 
  • Dr Liesl Page-Shipp: TB & HIV Senior Programme Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Ms Eva Kiwango is the UNAIDS Representative and Country Director for South Africa

Presentation of the Report

Mr Jaime Atienza Azcona, UNAIDS Director of Equitable Financing Practice

What do we know about the cost and economic impact of HIV in South Africa?

Prof Gesine Meyer-Rath is the Associate Professor, Boston University School of Public Health, and Economics and Epidemiology Research Office (HE2RO), University of the Witwatersrand

Reflections on the financing of HIV:

Dr Mark Blecher, Chief Director: Health and Social Development, National Treasury

Questions & Answers

Moderated by Dr Yogan Pillay/Dr Liesl Page-Shipp

Participants will be able to submit questions during the webinar by using the "Q&A" feature. You may also submit your questions in advance to the email


Ms Anne Githuku-Shongwe is the Regional Director, UNAIDS Regional Support Team for Eastern and Southern Africa



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Dr Yogan Pillay, the convenor of this webinar is the Director: HIV & TB Delivery, Billl & Melinda Gates Foundation. He is formerly the Deputy Director-General of Health in the Department of Health, South Africa responsible for health programmes. He obtained a Ph.D from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and has co-written two textbooks on global health, co-edited a book on mental health and authored and co-authored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications. In 2018 he was awarded the Karel Styblo Medallion and presented with a certification of appreciation for leadership in the global fight against tuberculosis by KNCV. In 2020 the Rotary International Board named him a Paul Harris Fellow in recognition of his work on child health. He is an affiliate of the Center for Innovation in Global Health, Georgetown University. In 2021 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Cape Town and in the same year appointed extraordinary professor in the Division of Health Systems and Public Health, Department of Global Health, Stellenbosch University. Dr Pillay was previously the country director of the Clinton Health Access Initiative in South Africa and senior director for universal health coverage.


Dr Liesl Page-Shipp is the TB & HIV SPO at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She has 26 years local and international experience in the TB, drug- resistant TB and HIV fields including technical guidance; proposal writing, grant and stakeholder management; and programme evaluation, operational research, clinical trials and clinical care. She has experience in the NGO, public and private sectors and as an independent consultant. Dr Page-Shipp is committed to quality patient care in the context of improving public health through evaluation and operational research. Previous work experience includes the mining and public health sectors.


Having joined the United Nations in 2001 and served UNAIDS since 2004 through postings in South Africa, Switzerland and Mozambique, Ms Eva Kiwango was appointed as UNAIDS Representative and Country Director for South Africa in September 2021. She brings over 24 years of experience in international and local development, including policy, planning, and monitoring and evaluation, particularly around HIV and AIDS, working at country, regional and global levels. She holds an MSc in Policy and Planning from the London School of Economics (1995).

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Jaime Atienza Azcona (Madrid, 1972) joined UNAIDS in 2021, and is the Director of the Equitable financing Practice department at UNAIDS since February 2022. He is a PhD candidate with Madrid Complutense University, specialized on debt, development financing and public health and education in Sub Saharan Africa.

Before joining the UN, he worked for over 20 years for several public institutions, private foundations, as a consultant and with global CSO networks. In his 13 years with Oxfam, he led overall campaigns and policy at an affiliate level, co-managed the Global Campaigns and championed the Inequality campaign portfolio, managed the global aid and development finance team and strategy, and was a Campaigns and Policy Director.

He has been a Master teacher in International Cooperation in several Universities in Spain (Comillas, Complutense, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, Universidad del País Vasco, Universidad de Granada).

He is a recognized international expert in financing for universal healthcare and education – particularly on taxation, ODA, debt, and other financial instruments.

He has published books and articles on debt, development cooperation, international migration and financing for development matters. 


Professor Gesine Meyer-Rath (MD, PhD) is a medical doctor and health economist working on the economics of infectious disease interventions in low- and middle-income settings. She is a Research Associate Professor in the Department for Global Health at Boston University, and a Principal Researcher in the Health Economics and Epidemiology Research Office (HE2RO) at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. Her research focus lies in modelling methods for economic evaluation, and translating research into recommendations for public policy, including for the HIV, TB and COVID-19 programmes of South Africa and other southern African countries. She holds an MD in Medicine and a PhD in Physiology from Freie Universität Berlin, and a Doctorate in Health Economics from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.  


As Chief Director: Health and Social Development in South Africa's National Treasury, Dr Mark Blecher supervises a team conducting research for development of National Health Insurance, establishing health conditional grants, and heading Health and Social Protection Function Committees which make recommendations on sectoral budget allocations. His team also works on social grant modelling and budgeting, and other aspects of health and social development such as Early Childhood Development.

Dr Blecher has a specialist degree in Public Health and a PhD in Health Economics from the University of Cape Town. His expertise in public sector health financing, planning and management has been built through employment at provincial and national government levels, and he has a special interest in the economics of health service delivery and programming.

Dr Blecher was Co-chair of the UNAIDS Economic Reference Group, collaborating regularly with various global organisations such as the World Health Organization, Gavi – the Vaccine Alliance, the Global Fund, and the Global Financing Facility of the World Bank. He has published widely on public health and health economics in a range of books and journals, and is currently co-authoring several international cross-country studies on Universal Health Care.


As CEO of the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) and Chairperson of South Africa's Global Fund Country Co-ordination Mechanism since 2020, Dr Thembisile Xulu is an esteemed leader in health, with a wealth of technical expertise and leadership experience. Dr Xulu holds an MBChB from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, a Diploma in Obstetrics and a Diploma in HIV Management from the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa, and a Master's degree in Public Health (Health Policy and Management) from the University of the Witwatersrand. In May 2019, the Institute of Directors qualified her as a Certified Director.

Dr Xulu was appointed as Clinical Director and member of the Right to Care Board in 2007, and as Director of the USAID grant. Under her leadership, the organisation's government programme became the largest in Right to Care's history and continues to be the backbone of its prevention, care, and treatment achievements. After participating in the prestigious Yale University World Fellows Leadership Development Programme in 2010, she was appointed as Managing Director of Right to Care Health Services (RTCHS) Pty Ltd in the following year. In 2015 she was appointed as Managing Director of the RTC International Division, which launched the EQUIP project in over 10 PEPFAR-supported countries, and Dr Xulu was Chief of Party of the EQUIP Consortium. 


Ms Anne Githuku-Shongwe joins the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) as the Director, Regional Support Team, East and South Africa, based in Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa. She brings to her role 20 years of experience as a senior international development professional including with the United Nations Development Programme across Africa and Management consulting in the United States of America.

Ms Anne Githuku-Shongwe last posting was as Representative for UN Women's South Africa Multi-Country Office (SAMCO), which is responsible for women's empowerment and gender equality in Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Namibia as well as South Africa, where the office was based.

Ms Anne Githuku-Shongwe has been an award-winning social entrepreneur and founder of AROES, a Digital & Gamification Learning enterprise and a thought leader on the Future of Learning.