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AIDS can be ended by 2030, but we are late

ByMicheal Johnson

Jun 6, 2021

The call becomes more important when new data from the United Nations Program for HIV-AIDS (UNAIDS) showing that dozens of countries met or exceeded the targets set by the United Nations General Assembly in 2016 in 2020, showing that these goals were not mere aspirations, but an achievable reality.

The report shows that countries with progressive laws and policies and strong and inclusive health systems are the ones that performed the best against HIV.

People living with HIV and affected by the virus in these countries are more likely to access effective HIV services, including screening tests, pre-exposure prophylaxis (medicines to prevent the disease), reducing the harm caused by disease, providing several months of HIV treatment, and consistent, quality care and monitoring.

The executive director of the UN Program stated the above, underlining that the countries that obtained the best results were the ones that “paved the way” for the rest to continue.

“With adequate funding, authentic community engagement, approaches multisectoral programs based on human rights and science as a starting point for their strategies have managed to reverse their epidemics and save lives. All these elements are very valuable to be prepared and to respond effectively to the pandemic against HIV, COVID-19 and many other diseases ”, highlighted Winnie Byanyima.

$ 29 billion a year to go to meet the 2025 targets

However, UNAIDS should also emphasize that time is running out to reach the goal of ending AIDS by 2030, that progress since the 2016 UN General Assembly High Level Meeting have been too slow and some of the goals set for 2020 have not been met.

If ultimately achieved, the targets will enable the delivery of HIV-related services to 95% of the people who need them, reduce annual HIV infections to less than 370,000 and AIDS-related deaths to less than 250,000 by 2025. This will require an investment of 29,000 million dollars annually until 2025.

Affordable treatments have saved more than 16 million lives since 2001

The study shows that globally the number of people receiving treatment has more than tripled since 2010. In 2020, 27.4 million of the 37.6 million people living with HIV were in treatment, compared to 7 , 8 million in 2010. UNAIDS estimates that, Thanks to the emergence of affordable and quality treatments, 16.2 million lives have been saved since 2001.

AIDS-related deaths also fell, largely thanks to the implementation of antiretroviral therapies, falling 43% since 2010 and reaching 690,000 in 2020. At the same time, progress was made in reducing new HIV infections, but with noticeably slower progress: a 30% reduction has been achieved since 2010, with 1.5 million new HIV infections in 2020 compared to 2.1 million in 2010.

The report highlights that countries that maintain punitive laws and refuse to adopt a rights-centered approach to health are only punishing, ignoring, stigmatizing and leaving behind key populations (who constitute 62% of new infections). worldwide), who are denied access to HIV services. As an example, he cited that almost 70 countries criminalize sexual relations between people of the same sex.

In terms of geographic origin, young women in sub-Saharan Africa remain the most neglected. Six out of every seven new HIV infections among adolescents aged 15-19 in the region occur in girls. AIDS-related diseases are still the leading cause of death among women between the ages of 15 and 49 in the African subregion.