Advisory committee

Two years after the adoption of an ambitious, but achievable Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS: Ending Inequalities and Getting on Track to End AIDS by 2030 and the setting of ambitious interim targets for 2025 that the world would need to achieve if we are to reach the 2030 HIV targets within the Sustainable Development Goals, many countries are demonstrating that these targets can be achieved. While progress is widespread, it remains uneven. 2024 must be a year of deep and critical reflection on how to ensure a resilient long‐term HIV response that ensures impact through continued and sustained reduction in new HIV infections and HIV‐related deaths and mitigates the risks of resurgence.

This is a pivotal moment in the global HIV response. It is therefore a unique opportunity to articulate the pathway to success in the HIV response to 2030 and start looking beyond. UNAIDS in close collaboration with its partners have joined efforts towards a new sustainability framework. Under the leadership of governments with their plans, UNAIDS will coordinate efforts to hold HIV response sustainability dialogues and assessments, leading to prepare synthesis sustainability roadmaps by end 2024. The main novelty in this approach and framework is to focus on identifying the transformations needed in the programmatic, policy and financial dimensions of the response in a post-2030 context which, include strengthening of health systems, well crafted integration of the HIV response within those, and multisectoral and policy aspects, such as community systems and human rights policies and challenges.

To provide oversight and ensure a reflective iterative learning across geographies, we are standing up a UNAIDS Advisory Committee (AC) on Sustainability of the HIV Response. The Committee is expected to be a multi-sectorial body that protects country ownership and leadership while providing guidance, consistency and oversight to the multi-country process, inclusive of sustainability dialogues, assessments and roadmap implementation as needed. The AC will not oversee individual country HIV response roadmaps.

The Advisory Committee function

The AC members will provide independent non-binding advice on the overall design and approach to HIV Response Sustainability Dialogues, assessments and Roadmaps and implementation, including providing feedback and suggestions regarding:

  • Flexible approaches and methods being designed, proposed and adapted;
  • Priority actions to secure country ownership;
  • Steps in generating and maintaining political momentum, country ownership, and donor alignment, towards delivery and accountability;
  • Take stock of progress, analyze challenges and potential solutions to implementation;
  • Promoting effective examples, fostering cross-learning and South to South collaboration.

The AC members will not be expected to review individual country HIV response sustainability roadmaps.

The Advisory Committee Composition

The Committee will be co-chaired by two high level personalities, noted for their contributions to the HIV response and will be supported by a hands-on Secretariat to ensure its functioning, preparatory works and translation of discussions into action.

The Committee will include in its membership a range of stakeholders working in HIV epidemiology, AIDS response programmatic components, HIV, health and social sector financing, human rights, and community response, as well as representatives of UNAIDS Cosponsors, the Global Fund, PEPFAR, civil society, people living with HIV, key, and vulnerable populations. Committee membership is nominative, and members are institutionally independent from UNAIDS. The proposed membership is as follows:

  • 2 Co-chairs: one Government representatives and one independent expert/thought leader
  • 3 UNAIDS Cosponsors representatives
  • 6 Representatives of PLHIV, civil society and key population
  • 3 Representatives of Regional entities
  • 2 independent experts
  • 4-5 Government representatives, bringing views from their respective regions.

Advisory committee membership is nominative, and members are institutionally independent from UNAIDS.

Advisory Committee Secretariat

The Advisory Committee will be supported by a hands-on Secretariat to guide the process for developing country-led Sustainability Roadmap for the HIV Response, with UNAIDS Secretariat, PEPFAR, the Global Fund and open to other members to join.

  • The Secretariat will provide coordination and administration support to the Committee including proposing the agenda, preparing the background materials, and organizing the meetings.
  • The Secretariat will be responsible for minutes of the proceedings and documenting the recommendations of the Committee, and if needed, carrying forward the implementation of actions that may follow the works and deliberations of the Committee.
  • The Secretariat will act as the liaison between the Committee and the Taskforce and Working Groups set up to support the development of sustainability dialogues and roadmaps.
  • The Secretariat may be requested, on behalf of the Committee, to seek contributions from other groups or stakeholders that may be considered relevant to consult or involve in the work around HIV sustainability.
  • The Secretariat will propose to the Committee a Working Group to handle the governance of the HIV sustainability initiative if / as considered necessary.

Members of the Advisory Committee Secretariat

Michael Rufner
Deputy Coordinator for Financial and Programmatic Sustainability, PEPFAR.

Michael Ruffner is the Deputy Coordinator for Financial and Programmatic Sustainability in the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator (S/GAC) at U.S. Department of State since October 2006 where he is working to better integrate and improve the effectiveness of existing funding for HIV, while working with countries to improve their ability to operate and finance their HIV response independently. From 2014 to 2016, he was the Director Financial Sustainability at the U.S Department of State, PEPFAR and an Administrator at OECD from 2000 to 2005. Mr Rufner is currently S/GAC chair for the Kenya and Lesotho programs.  In addition to his functional and programmatic responsibilities, Michael is the chair of the Board of Directors’ Audit and Finance Committee of the Global Fund for the Fight against AIDS, TB and Malaria.

Siobhan Crowley
Head of HIV, Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Siobhan Crowley heads HIV at the Global fund since 2020. Previously, she was a Senior Health Advisor at Elma Philanthropies from 2019 to 2020, Senior Medical Advisor, Elton John AIDS foundation in 2020, Chief of Health and Nutrition at UNICEF from 2010 to 2013 and Coordinator for HIV treatment and prevention, World Health Organization from 2009 to 2010. Ms Crowley’s experience includes developing evidence-based public health policy including enabling people living with HIV to contribute to WHO global standards on treatment and care. Ms Crowley is a medical doctor with training in HIV and sexual and reproductive medicine, health education, public health evaluation and infectious diseases.
Kalipso Chalkidou
Head of Health Finance at The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Kalipso Chalkidou is the founding Head of the Department of Health Finance at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria since January 2021 and also a visiting Professor at King’s College London since 2012. Prior to the Global Fund, she was Director of Global Health Policy and a Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Development, based in London from 2017 to 2021. Ms Kalipso founded NICE International which she led for 8 years from 2008 to 2016 working with national governments, insurance funds and global donors around the world to improve the value for money of healthcare investments. She has been involved in the Chinese rural health reforms and in national health reform projects in Colombia, Turkey and the Middle East, working with the World Bank, PAHO, DFID and the Inter-American Development Bank as well as national governments.
Jaime Atienza Azcona
Director, Equitable Financing Practice, UNAIDS.
Jaime Atienza Azcona joined UNAIDS in 2021 as Chief, Financing Officer and is currently the Director of the Equitable financing Practice department at UNAIDS since February 2022. 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 is a recognized international expert in financing for universal healthcare and education – particularly on taxation, ODA, debt, and other financial instruments.
Melissa Sobers
Adviser, HIV Financing Policy, UNAIDS.

Melissa Sobers currently serves as an Adviser, HIV Financing Policy at UNAIDS since June 2023. Ms Sobers has been with UNAIDS for 14 years in various roles and duty stations including Belize, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Nigeria, Geneva and Kenya. Previously, she served as a Policy and Strategy Adviser in the Executive Office, Senior Adviser Programme Planning and Monitoring, Im¬plementation Adviser (supporting the implementation of PEPFAR/GF resources) for the UNAIDS Country Office in Nigeria and Regional Adviser. Investment and Efficiency, covering nine countries in the Caribbean. Ms Sobers completed undergraduate studies in Biotechnology and Statistics from the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica and postgraduate studies in Actuarial Science and International Health Technology Assessments.