ISLAMABAD, Nov 28 (APP): UNAIDS, in a new report ‘Prevailing against pandemics by putting people at the centre’, has called on the countries to make far greater investments in global pandemic responses and adopt a new set of bold, ambitious but achievable HIV targets.
If those targets were met, the world would be back on track to ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030, a UNAIDS press release said.
As COVID-19 pushed the AIDS response even further off track and the 2020 targets were missed, UNAIDS urged countries to learn from the lessons of underinvesting in health and to step up global action to end AIDS and other pandemics.
It noted that the global AIDS response was off track before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, but the rapid spread of the coronavirus had created additional setbacks. Modelling of the pandemic’s long-term impact on the HIV response showed that there could be an estimated 123,000 to 293,000 additional new HIV infections and 69,000 to 148,000 additional AIDS-related deaths between 2020 and 2022.
“The collective failure to invest sufficiently in comprehensive, rights-based, people-centred HIV responses has come at a terrible price,” said Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “Implementing just the most politically palatable programmes will not turn the tide against COVID-19 or end AIDS. To get the global response back on track will require putting people first and tackling the inequalities on which epidemics thrive.”