Skip to main content
Public Health

HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and tuberculosis

The global objective under target 3.3 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) seeks to end by 2030 the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis and combat hepatitis, among others.

The EU has shown its commitment to play its role in this important endeavour by supporting actions and policies in Member States to improve their response to these three epidemics and reach the SDGs.

EU policy action

EU action against HIV/AIDS has a long history, with viral hepatitis and tuberculosis initially considered HIV co-infections and gradually taken up as diseases in their own right.

The EU first delivered a policy instrument to address HIV/AIDS at European level in 2005 with its Commission communication on combating HIV/AIDS. This was the basis for EU action from 2006 to 2009.

With HIV/AIDS remaining a public health concern and a political priority for the European Union and neighbouring countries, a second Communication on Combating HIV/AIDS in the European Union and neighbouring countries was adopted in 2009 and accompanied by  2 successive action plans

In 2015, the world leaders agreed on global action to end by 2030 the epidemics of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis and to combat viral hepatitis under the SDGs.

With these global targets in place, the EU expressed its political commitment to support EU countries in reaching them in the 2016 Communication on Next Steps for a Sustainable European Future.

Ahead of the 22nd International AIDS Conference, in 2018, the European Commission published a Staff working document, showing the EU-level state of play, policy instruments across several policy areas and EU-funded good practices to combat HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis and tuberculosis in the European Union and the neighbouring countries.

The paper underlines the importance for countries to maintain sustained efforts to reach the Sustainable Development Goals targets.

Europe’s Cancer Beating Plan is an important instrument contributing to the WHO's elimination targets of viral hepatitis B and C infection. The Plan explicitly recognises viral hepatitis as a preventable cancer risk factor and includes actions to combat it in activities on cancer prevention.

In the future, a Council Recommendation on Vaccine Preventable Cancers could help Member States address cancer risks linked to Hepatitis B virus by increasing vaccination uptake in both the general population and at-risk groups.

The EU drugs strategy for 2021-2025 and the relevant Action Plan aim to ensure a high level of health promotion, including measures and policies to reduce the prevalence and incidence of drug-related infectious diseases, such as viral hepatitis and HIV.

EU health financed programmes

The EU also funds projects and activities directly through the EU health programme. These actions help develop ing and implementing good practices for attaining international commitments to end AIDS and tuberculosis and reduce viral hepatitis.

Their main themes and focus relate to:

  • promoting early diagnosis for HIV, hepatitis and tuberculosis, including the reduction of late presenters as well as interventions addressing the needs for improving treatment as prevention
  • integrating treatment and care, ensuring access, integrated diagnosis and case management, bridging health services in the community and health services, including prison health care
  • enhancing access to community-based services to key populations who are hard to be reached
  • supporting civil society for their specific involvement in the response against the diseases

The European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA) manages these actions.


For 15 years (2005-2019), the Commission had set up 2 bodies that were meeting twice a year to help with policy implementation and strengthen cooperation between countries, civil society and international organisations.

The HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis and tuberculosis Think Tank (TT) was a forum of representatives from national health authorities of EU and EEA countries to exchange information and strengthen cooperation. The HIV/AIDS, viral Hepatitis and Tuberculosis Civil Society Forum (CSF) was an informal advisory body enabling the participation of NGOs and networks in European policy development and implementation.

Since these groups were closed in their current format, the Commission continues holding discussions on HIV, tuberculosis and hepatitis policy implementation and facilitating the exchange of best practices through appropriate mechanisms, including the Health Security Committee, as well as dedicated networks on the EU Health Policy Platform.

In December 2022, a new Commission expert group on public health brought together experts from EU MS, Norway and Iceland to advise the Commission on policy development and transfer of best practices related to major public health challenges including, non-communicable and communicable diseases.

Related information