Greater divide felt in HIV service: UNAIDS

HIV2

COVID-19 has already worsened the gender inequality and the greater divide was felt in HIV infected people, according to UNAIDS.

The report “Prevailing against the Pandemics by Putting People at the Centre”, said that gay men and other men who have sex with men had reduced access to HIV prevention services. This has worsened for women and children, the report added.

It said that sex workers were deprived of their livelihood due to lockdown measures and were excluded from financial support measures.

Moreover, the report said that gay men and transgender people faced violence and harassment.  A global survey found that 20 per cent of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people were unable to meet their basic needs due to loss of income. Six per cent of more than 12,600 global survey reported lower access to condoms or lubricants during the pandemic.

The report also points to the survey by the Global Network of Sex Worker, which found that a majority of respondents in every region except Europe reported reduced access to condoms, lubricants, and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It said that transgender people were vulnerable to harms resulting from the lockdown.

The report also warned that a six month disruption of antiretroviral therapy could cause more than 5,00,000 additional deaths from AIDS related causes, including tuberculosis.

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