The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Communities make the difference”. The new report by UNAIDS, Power to the people highlights the role of communities at a time when reduced funding and a shrinking space for civil society are putting the sustainability of services and advocacy efforts in jeopardy.
Globally, significant progress has been made in the fight to end HIV, particularly in expanding access to treatment. As of mid-2019, an estimated 24.5 million of the 37.9 million people living with HIV were accessing treatment. As treatment roll-out continues, fewer people are dying of AIDS-related illnesses.
Progress in reducing HIV infections, however, is mixed and 1.7 million people were newly infected with the virus in 2018. Gay men and other men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, sex workers, transgender people, prisoners and the sexual partners of these key populations accounted for 54% of all new infections, and 25% of new infections in eastern and southern Africa. Of increasing concern is the rise of new HIV infections in some regions. The annual number of new HIV infections rose by 29% in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, by 10% in the Middle East and North Africa and by 7% in Latin America.
Women remain disproportionately affected by HIV in many countries, with risks compounded by inequalities and gender-based violence.
In addition to honouring the millions we have lost to the worst epidemic the world has seen, this day serves as a reminder that despite the promise of scientific advances, the availability of a wider array of HIV tools and strategies, the world is still profoundly off-track to achieve the 2030 target of ending AIDS as a public health threat. We must reinvigorate our efforts to urgently scale up HIV responses, including investments in addressing the disparities which continue to fuel HIV.
The success and sustainability of the global HIV response depends on how effectively we address stigma, discrimination, criminalization and other the structural determinants and disparities that continue to challenge HIV responses, especially for those are left behind. In this video you can see what UNDP is doing in the global response to HIV.
In this video you can see what UNDP is doing in the global response to HIV.