In view of the World Aids Day 2021, WHO and other concerned institutions such as UNAIDS are calling for a re-commitment more action to help end aids.
HIV continues to be a major global public health issue that affects millions of people worldwide especially haven claimed over 36.3 million lives so far.
There were an estimated 37.7 million people living with HIV at the end of 2020, over two thirds of whom (25.4 million) are in the WHO African Region.
In 2020, about 680 000 people died from HIV-related causes and about 1.5 million people acquired HIV.
Although the world has made significant progress in recent decades, important global targets for 2020 were not met.
Division, disparity and disregard for human rights are among the failures that allowed HIV to become and remain a global health crisis.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the inequities and disruptions to services, making the lives of many people living with HIV more challenging.
The theme of World AIDS Day 2021 is “End inequalities. End AIDS”. With a special focus on reaching people left behind, WHO and its partners are highlighting the growing inequalities in access to essential HIV services.
It is an essential call on global leaders and citizens to rally to confront the inequalities that drive AIDS and to reach people who are currently not receiving essential HIV services.
To reach the new proposed global targets set by UNAIDS, we will need to redouble our efforts to avoid the worst-case scenario of a half million excess HIV-related deaths in sub-Saharan Africa.
There is need also to avoid increasing HIV infections due to HIV service disruptions during COVID-19, and the slowing public health response to HIV.
There is no cure for HIV infection. However, with increasing access to effective HIV prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care, including for opportunistic infections, HIV infection has become a manageable chronic health condition, enabling people living with HIV to lead long and healthy lives.
KEY MESSAGES ARE ;
Persistent inequalities and the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic require a renewed effort to end HIV as a public health threat by 2030.
We must confront the special challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic for people living with HIV.
We must ensure that everyone everywhere has equal access to HIV prevention, testing, treatment and care, including COVID-19 vaccinations and services.
WHO recommends a renewed focus on countries and populations that are still missing out in the global response to HIV and AIDS.
These include the diverse groups of people being marginalized in each country, including “key” populations of people who are at high risk.
END INEQUALITIES, END AIDS, END PANDEMICS