Stanbic Bank
Stanbic Bank
Stanbic Bank
Stanbic Bank
20.7 C
Kampala
Stanbic Bank
Stanbic Bank
Stanbic Bank
Stanbic Bank

New report shows reduction in new HIV infections in several Global HIV Prevention Coalition countries

Must read

A new report shows that HIV infections continue to decline in countries that are part of the Global HIV Prevention Coalition (GPC) faster than in the rest of the world.

Eleven GPC focus countries have reduced their annual number of new HIV infections by at least 66% since 2010. By comparison, the average reduction in new HIV infections since 2010 globally is 38%. The GPC is a coalition of 38 countries working together to accelerate declines in new HIV infections to achieve the target of having 95% of the people who are at risk of HIV accessing effective combination prevention options.

The GPC countries that have prioritised primary prevention and treatment and that have focused on reaching people most at risk have secured the strongest consistent declines in new HIV infections.

Globally, progress in HIV prevention has been highly uneven and a majority of the world’s countries are not currently on track to achieve the 2025 targets. Indeed, several countries are experiencing prevention crises with low access to services and face record rising new HIV infections.

“The findings of this report offer crucial lessons for action,” said Angeli Achrekar, Deputy Executive Director Programme, UNAIDS. “The report shows that sustained political leadership, investment in effective HIV prevention programmes, and an enabling policy environment are crucial to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.”

Declines in new HIV infections have been boosted by the cumulative impact of combination HIV prevention options and increased access to antiretroviral treatment which has also increased viral suppression in people living with HIV. People who are on treatment and are virally supressed cannot transmit HIV.

“It’s remarkable to see what has been achieved in the AIDS response in the past 20 years. But the progress to date has not been equitable and is not yet sustainable, and we must never confuse progress with being sure of success,” said Mitchell Warren, GPC co-chair and Executive Director, AVAC. “Our progress is fragile, and what we’ve achieved today could slip away even more quickly than it was achieved if we let complacency take hold.”

Key populations and adolescent girls and young women are still at high risk of new infections. HIV incidence remains unacceptably high among populations where gaps in HIV prevention investments persist.

Around 3100 young women and girls aged 15-24 became newly infected with HIV every week in sub-Saharan Africa in 2022 and HIV incidence declined less rapidly than it has among young men. Only 43% of the sub-national areas in which there is elevated HIV incidence among young women are being reached with dedicated prevention programmes for young women.

Although GPC countries have shown solid gains in reducing new HIV infections, challenges remain worldwide in reaching key populations most at risk of new HIV infections including men who have sex with men, sex workers and people who inject drugs. Every week, more than 11 000 new HIV infections occur among key populations and their sexual partners globally.

Only 44% of sex workers, 28% of gay men and other men who have sex with men, and 37% of people who inject drugs accessed two or more HIV prevention services in the previous three months according to median values reported by GPC countries ––against a target of 90%.

HIV prevention is being obstructed by shortfalls in prevention financing, and by punitive laws. Social stigma, violence, discrimination and social exclusion are barriers to key populations’ access to health-care services and information, exacerbating their risk of acquiring HIV. Law reform is a crucial enabler of prevention programmes. Protecting the human rights of everyone is vital for protecting the health of everyone.

Investments in both condom and voluntary medical male circumcision programmes, which are both effective in preventing HIV, have fallen in some of the countries with the largest HIV epidemics. In addition, breakthrough HIV prevention options such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), medicine to prevent HIV, are still only available to a small fraction of the people who need them.

There are unprecedented opportunities for HIV prevention in 2024. There is a growing array of prevention options including existing tools and new long-acting prevention technologies, as well as country examples of how to implement prevention at scale and increase choices available to communities.

HIV Prevention programmes need to be at scale, efficient and equitable. The actions that are needed for success and sustainability are known, have been shown to work, and have been agreed: collaborate, follow science, tackle inequalities, protect everyone’s rights, let communities lead, and invest in what is needed. Sliding back on resourcing or inclusion would hurt everyone. Solidarity will benefit everyone. Communities, countries and international partners can prevent new infections together.

- Advertisement -

More articles

- Advertisement -

Latest article

- Advertisement -