As of this morning – Wednesday July 1 – the current recorded case count for COVID-19 (coronavirus) in the UK has reached 312,654 with 43,730 deaths.

ViiV Healthcare has announced that 109 projects from 26 countries are to get financial support from its Global HIV and COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund.

The Fund, which was launched late April and is comprised of a £1.5-million Research Emergency Response Fund and a £1.5-million Community Emergency Response Fund, will provide “critical financial resources” at a time when COVID-19 “threatens to erode more than a decade’s progress in AIDS-related mortality”, the group said.

ViiV received more than 400 applications from across the world, with eligible submissions coming from Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and the US.

The Research Fund will support studies into the medical and scientific effects of COVID-19 on people living with HIV, including the impact of co-morbidities, while the Community Fund will focus on community-based organisations, and their work to counteract disruption to HIV care services and support caused by the pandemic.

“The overwhelming response from research and community-based organisations to our Global HIV and COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund underlines the significant burden felt by people living with HIV during the pandemic,” said Stephen Rea, head of External Affairs and Communications at ViiV.

“Very understandably, people living with HIV and their physicians have mounting questions about the risks COVID-19 poses, and so we have elected to use our Research grants to support those studies seeking to find answers.

“It’s our hope that our Community grants will help mitigate some of the disruptions to health services and supplies, which the WHO and UNAIDS have estimated could lead to more than half a million additional AIDS-related deaths. We see the valuable work afforded by both Funds as critical to ensuring we leave no person living with HIV behind.”