The global roll out of HIV treatment has saved millions of lives but the efforts to prevent new HIV infections have been less successful, according to UNAIDS.
The annual number of new HIV infections among adults hardly changed over the past four years and total new infections declined by just 31 per cent since 2010, far short of the 75 per cent target for 2020.
The UNAIDS said that several countries failed to put in place the combination of structural, behavioural and biomedical approaches to HIV prevention. It mentioned that consistent condom use, though possible, was difficult to achieve among all populations. The women in many countries need greater agency and support to negotiate consistent condom use.
Coverage of pre-exposure prophylaxis and of voluntary medical male circumcision in 2020 also were well below the targets set five years earlier, the UN agency said. The world AIDS Agency noted that reductions in new infections were strongest in sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean. However, no region achieved the 75 per cent decline that were agreed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2016. It said that epidemics in large parts of eastern Europe and central Asia expanded in the face of serious legal and policy barriers and inadequate attention to the needs of people who inject drugs and gay men and other men who have sex with men. The annual number of new HIV infections also climbed in the Middle East and North Africa, and Latin America did not achieve any reduction in infections over the course of the last decade.