AIDS could be eradicated by 2030, but funding is urgent: UN
fighting the HIV as a threat to global public health could end within this decade, but it requires strong political leadership and greater financial investment, warns the new report of the Joint UN Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) on the evolution of this disease.
“The road to the end of AIDS is not a mystery, but a political and financial choice”UNAIDS Executive Director, Ugandan Winnie Byanyima, stressed when presenting the report.
Byanyima assured that this "is the same path that will help societies to be prepared for future pandemics and will help countries to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals."
Some countries such as Botswana, Eswatini, Rwanda, the United Republic of Tanzania and Zimbabwe have already achieved the UN agency's "95-95-95" targets, meaning that 95% of people with AIDS in these countries know their status, 95% of those who know are receiving antiretroviral treatment and 95% of those on treatment are achieving virus suppression.
“This shows that we can end AIDS if world leaders are brave, if they follow the signs, tackle stigma and discrimination, train and work with communities and invest the necessary,” said the former Botswana Minister of Health and co-chair of the Global Coalition for HIV Prevention, Sheila Tlou.
The report's findings show that domestic and international funding in low- and middle-income countries stood at $20.8 billion in 2022, up from $29.3 billion needed by 2025.
In this sense, the director of UNAIDS explained that discrimination and lack of investment mainly affect the so-called "vulnerable groups", which include homosexual men or men who have sex with other men, sex workers, transsexual women, drug addicts and prisoners.
However, the report establishes that this eradication will not be immediate, since in 2022 around 630,000 people died of AIDS-related illnesses around the world, thus claiming one life every minute, something the UNAIDS director described as a “collective shame”.
The report shows particularly worrying figures on the incidence of HIV/AIDS among women and girls in Africa sub-Saharan Africa, which accounted for 63% of all new HIV infections in 2022.
Another major focus of infection was Asia and the Pacific, where almost a quarter (23%) of new HIV infections occurred.
"Some 9.2 million people remain without access to treatment, including 660,000 children living with HIV," said Harry Prabowo, coordinator of the Asia-Pacific network of people living with HIV/AIDS.
“Countries that are following the path are already doing so, so we know there is a chance of coming to an end,” concluded UNAIDS director of communication Ben Philips.
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