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Concentrated global attention is needed on the long-term epidemics of infectious diseases, such as HIV, tuberculosis (TB), malaria, hepatitis and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), which require a magnified response sustained over a long period to bring them to an end. Building on the progress made towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the World Health Organization (WHO) has developed a joint global public health approach to accelerate progress and meet the ambitious global targets set for 2030 for HIV, TB, malaria, hepatitis and NTDs in the era of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Drawing on the common elements of the individual disease strategies, the new approach provides opportunities for joint and synergistic efforts. The framework emphasizes key actions including expansion of universal health coverage (UHC), ensuring equity and respect for human rights, establishment of a new approach to strategic information within and beyond health, strengthening of health systems with integrated delivery of interventions, pursue of sustainable financing, and promotion of research across the spectrum from product development to implementation research.