UNAIDS report calls for speedy response to the global HIV epidemic
The rate of new HIV infections is likely to increase without rapid action over the next 5 years according to the latest UNAIDS report. The report, "Fast-Track: Ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030", says that the adoption of a Fast-Track approach would prevent 28 million new HIV infections and 21 million AIDS-related deaths by 2030.
The new targets that need to be reached include the 90-90-90 Targets. 90-90-90 refers to 90% of people living with HIV knowing their HIV status; 90% of people who know their HIV-positive status on treatment; and 90% of people on treatment with suppressed viral loads by 2020. Other targets include reducing the annual number of new infections by 75% and ending HIV-related stigma and discrimination.
The report also highlights the vital role of funding in reaching these targets - by 2020; low-income countries will need an estimated $9.7 billion. With these countries currently only able to fund 10% of their HIV responses, international funding will become increasingly important in order to fill this gap.
Despite key affected populations being central to tackling the epidemic, many are still not being reached by existing HIV prevention programmes. For example, only three fifths of countries have prevention initiatives targeting sex workers. Key to the Fast-Track approach are efforts focusing on countries and communities particularly affected by HIV. To this end, the report highlights 30 priority countries accounting for 89% of all new HIV infections. Targeting those most affected by HIV is key to meeting these ambitious targets and ending the global epidemic.