The world will see an additional 1,23,000 to 2,93,000 additional new HIV infections and 69,000 to 1,48,000 additional AIDS related deaths between 2020 and 2022. The UNAIDS highlighted the new estimates in its latest report “Prevailing against the Pandemics by Putting People at the Centre”.
With COVID 19 pandemic pushing AIDS response off track and the 2020 targets being missed, the UNAIDS has urged the world to step up global action to end AIDS and other pandemics.
The UNAIDS in its report has also asked the countries to set bold and ambitious HIV targets. It said that the world would be back on track to end AIDS by 2030 if targets are met.
The report notes that AIDS response around the world was off track even before the pandemic and worsened with it. UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima said that the collective failure to invest sufficiently in comprehensive and people-centred HIV responses has come at a terrible price. “Implementing just the most politically palatable programmes will not turn the tide against COVID-19 or end AIDS. To get the global response back on track will require putting people first and tackling the inequalities on which epidemics thrive,” Byanyima said.
Despite several countries in the sub Saharan Africa like Botswana and Eswatini, having remarkable achievement and even exceeded the targets set for 2020, several other countries have fallen behind.
The report points out that the new targets concentrated on three categories – comprehensive HIV services; people-centred, context-specific service integration; removal of societal and legal impediments to an enabling environment for HIV services. The targets aimed at achieving 95 per cent coverage for each sub population of people living with and at increased risk of HIV, the report stated.
Prevailing against pandemics
The report said that the HIV related service had a backlash at the time of Covid pandemic. Stating that n no country can defeat the pandemics on its own, Byanyima said that it could only be defeated through forging global solidarity, shared responsibility and mobilising a response that leaves no one behind.
The UNAIDS also noted that the world should learn from the mistakes of the HIV response. It said that more than 12 million people still do not have access to HIV treatment and 1.7 million people became infected with HIV in 2019, as they did not have access to essential HIV services.