UNAIDS Launches Exchange to Leverage the Potential of Global Innovations

There is growing need to accelerate the pace of diffusion of technical innovations that improve human health. With this in mind, UNAIDS have launched a new initiative to leverage the potential of innovations from around the world.

The Health Innovation Exchange will showcase innovations with potential to deliver large-scale impact for countries reaching the SDG3 targets, and connect them to innovative financing solutions. It will link innovators to investors and innovations to implementers.

Ready to Scale innovations on the Exchange include Healthy Entrepreneurs – a business model developing social entrepreneurs through basic health products and Life4me+ – an e-Health system for those living with HIV. Market-Ready innovations on the Exchange include TimBre Tuberculosis Screening – a non-invasive screen of pulmonary tuberculosis.

How it works

The Health Innovation Exchange will identify challenges faced by implementers and connect them with innovations that have high potential for impact. It will also link with investors to scale up the efforts and develop sustainable solutions.

Launched on the sidelines of the World Health Assembly in Geneva, the initiative aims to support global efforts to reach Sustainable Development Goals. It’s expected that the Health Innovation Exchange will play a critical role in bridging the most innovative technologies and entrepreneurs with the greatest needs around the world.

“It’s about working in the partnership spirit of Sustainable Development Goal 17 and making innovations and investments work for everyone,” said Gunilla Carlsonn, UNAIDS Executive Director, a.i..

As part of the launch, UNAIDS held a 3-day event in Geneva from 21 – 23 May, showcasing 24 innovations for HIV, tuberculosis and health systems. The innovations included rapid disease screening technologies, games and quizzes for education on sexual health and sustainable solutions for the provision of and support for primary health care. The event provided plenty of opportunity for implementers, investors, political leaders, health experts, nongovernmental partners and private sector representatives to ask questions.

This innovation exchange event format will be repeated over the coming months in key countries. Those exchanges will identify specific health-related challenges and areas in which innovation and technology could transform access to health care.


Since the first cases of HIV were reported more than 35 years ago, 78 million people have become infected with HIV and 35 million have died from AIDS-related illnesses. Since UNAIDS started operations in 1996, it has led and inspired global, regional, national and local leadership, innovation and partnership to ultimately consign HIV to history.

UNAIDS leads the world’s most extensive data collection on HIV epidemiology, programme coverage and finance. It publishes the most authoritative and up-to-date information on the HIV epidemic—vital for an effective AIDS response. UNAIDS produces data for impact—no major report, speech or policy initiative on HIV has been launched or made without referring to data collected and released by UNAIDS.

In 2018, Australia committed AUD 22.5 million to UNAIDS over five years to support UNAIDS in achieving the targets, goals and vision outlined in the UNAIDS Strategy: On the Fast-Track to end AIDS.  


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