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WHO calls for leaders to address the global HIV response

Its key focus is to highlight inequalities that hinder progress in the goal to end AIDS by 2030

WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) has made a call for world leaders and citizens to recognise and address the inequalities acting as barriers to progress in reaching the worldwide goal to end AIDS by 2030.

WHO made the announcement to coincide with World AIDS Day 2022, an annual global health day taking place on 1 December each year as a chance to commemorate the lives lost to AIDS-related illnesses, while acting as a way to show support for those living with HIV.

As part of World AIDS Day this year, WHO has recommended a renewed steer on implementing its 2022 guidance to reach the HIV and related health needs of children and key populations.

Alongside global partners and communities, WHO stands in solidarity with those impacted by the illness, unifying under this year’s theme ‘Equalize’.

The aim of the ‘Equalize’ message is to underscore the need to ensure that essential HIV services are available to those who are deemed to be most at risk, specifically for children living with HIV, key populations to HIV and their partners.

HIV is still a significant public health issue, affecting millions of people worldwide, and concerns have been raised that the global response is failing to keep up.

According to WHO’s website, of the 38 million people living with HIV, 5.9 million people who know they have HIV are not receiving treatment, while a further four million people living with HIV have not yet received a diagnosis.

It is also noted that while 76% of adults overall were receiving antiretroviral treatment that support them in leading normal and healthy lives, only 52% of children living with HIV were able to access this treatment worldwide in 2021.

Moreover, 70% of new HIV infections are among marginalised communities and often those who have been criminalised.

Although there has been an overall decline in transmission in Africa, in the past ten years, there has been no significant decline among men who have sex with men – a key population group.

“With global solidarity and bold leadership, we can make sure everyone receives the care they need,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general.

He added: “World AIDS Day is an opportunity to re-affirm and refocus on our shared commitment to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.”

WHO also reported data demonstrating that among people confirmed to have mpox, 52% were people living with HIV. Additionally, global data sent to WHO suggests that those living with mpox with untreated HIV appear to be placed at risk for more severe disease, compared to those without HIV.

Article by
Fleur Jeffries

1st December 2022

From: Healthcare

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