Global Fight Against HIV In Danger Amid Resources Crunch

By Jane Muia / Published July 28, 2022 | 1:15 pm




KEY POINTS

Counties including Kisumu, Kisii, Narok, Nandi, Laikipia, and Tana River accounted for 72 percent of all new infections last year.


HIV

KEY TAKEAWAYS


In 2021, 38.4 million people were living with HIV with 650,000 deaths from AIDS-related illnesses. Subsaharan Africa was the most affected with 59 percent of new infections.


According to new data by UNAIDS, the global fight against HIV has hesitated on the back of the covid 19 pandemic which fueled the shrinking of resources, endangering millions of lives.

The report dubbed ‘’In danger’’ launched in Montreal Canada, revealed that between the 2020 and 2021 pandemic year, the number of new infections dropped only 3.6 percent globally.

“New HIV infections are rising where they had been falling. Climbing infections in these regions are alarming. In eastern and southern Africa rapid progress from previous years significantly slowed in 2021. There is some positive news, with notable declines in new HIV infections in western and central Africa and the Caribbean, but even in these regions, the HIV response is threatened by a tightening resource crunch,’’ reads the report in part.

Young women and adolescent girls were the most affected with a new infection recorded every two minutes among this group in 2021. This was triggered by the disruption of key HIV treatment and prevention services, given that millions of girls were out of school as a result of the pandemic.

In 2021, 38.4 million people were living with HIV with 650,000 deaths from AIDS-related illnesses. Subsaharan Africa was the most affected with 59 percent of new infections.

“These data show the global AIDS response in severe danger. If we are not making rapid progress then we are losing ground, as the pandemic thrives amidst COVID-19, mass displacement, and other crises. Let us remember the millions of preventable deaths we are trying to stop,” said UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima.

The UN says if urgent action is not taken, the number of new infections by year would be over 1.2 million in 2025 – the year in which United Nations member states have set a goal of fewer than 370 000 new HIV infections

The Russia-Ukraine War

According to the report, the Russia-Ukraine war further worsened the global response to HIV. The war dramatically increased the prices of food, worsening the food security of people living with AIDS across the globe making them unable to access HIV treatments.

The report noted that too many high-income countries are cutting back on aid. In 2021, international resources available for HIV were six percent lower than in 2010, with bilateral assistance from the United States down 57 percent over the past decade.

In low and medium-income countries, the HIV response rate is USD 8 billion short of the amount needed in 2025.

“When international support has been most needed, global solidarity has stalled. Leaders must not mistake the huge red warning light for a stop sign. This must become a moment for a surge of international support,” said Ms. Byanyima.

In Kenya according to a recently released report by the ministry of health, an average of new 98 infections among adolescents were recorded last year. Adolescents and young adults aged 15 -29 contributed 61 percent of all new adult HIV infections.

Counties including Kisumu, Kisii, Narok, Nandi, Laikipia, and Tana River accounted for 72 percent of all new infections last year.






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