The covid-19 pandemic complicates the challenge of ending AIDS by 2030


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90-90-90. 2020 was the year marked by the AIDS Program of the World Health Organization (UNAIDS) so that 90 of people with HIV were diagnosed, 90 of them received treatment and 90 of those treated had an undetectable burden . An ambitious goal for some countries, but achievable in many others. The next step would be the end of the HIV / AIDS epidemic by 2030.

Although according to the latest data from UNAIDS There is a gradual reduction in the number of cases, in the new report “Overcoming pandemics with people at the center of the response” published on the occasion of World AIDS Day, which is celebrated today, December 1, worldwide, UNAIDS recognizes that these goals are now slightly less achievable, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although the global response to HIV and AIDS had already slowed down before COVID-19, the very rapid spread of the disease has been a major setback.

Current data verify that there is a slowdown in the rate at which new HIV infections are being reduced, access to treatment is increasing and AIDS-related deaths are ending. In 2019 1.7 million people contracted HIV, making more than 38 million people have HIV. And in 2019 alone, 690,000 people died from AIDS-related diseases.

Although the global response to HIV and AIDS had already slowed down before COVID-19, the very rapid spread of the disease has been a major setback

In addition, the general director of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has warned that 12 million people with HIV do not receive treatment and 1.7 million contracted HIV in 2019 due to not having access to essential services for HIV. For Tedros, this «gap»Is calling into question the goal of ending HIV as a public health threat by 2030.

In the long term, the WHO organization predicts that new HIV infections could rise from 123,000 to 293,000 from 2020 to 2022. Likewise, for this same period, estimates suggest that AIDS-related deaths could grow by 69,000 to 148,000.

«We are now paying a heavy price for the collective mistake we have made of not investing enough in comprehensive, human rights-based and people-centered responses to HIV», Warns Winnie Byanyima, UNAIDS Executive Director.

“Implementing only those programs that are politically more palatable will not help us by any means to end COVID-19 or eradicate AIDS. For the global response to work again, it is absolutely imperative that we put people at the center and address the inequalities that fuel epidemics. ‘

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