This July (2018) UNAIDS released a report entittled “Miles to go.” They also called it ” wake-upcall—action report” encouraging that we can still hit that ambitious 2020 goal if we stick to the strategy.
The UNAIDS executive director, Michel Sidibé noted that at the halfway point to the 2020 targets, the pace of progress is not matching the global ambition.
Although the number of AIDS-related deaths is the lowest this century, with fewer than 1 million people dying each year from AIDS-related illnesses, HIV infections are not falling fast.
HIV prevention services are not being provided on an adequate scale are not reaching the people who need them the most.
Stigma and discrimination still has terrible consequences. The very people who are meant to be protecting, supporting and healing people living with HIV often discriminate against the people who should be in their care, denying access to critical HIV services, resulting in more HIV infections and more deaths.
It is the responsibility of the state top rotect everyone. Human rights are universal—no one is excluded, not sex workers, gay men and other men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, transgender people, prisoners or migrants.
Bad laws that criminalize HIV transmission, sex work, personal drug use and sexual orientation or hinder access to services must go, and go now.
UNAIDS Executive Director
HIV-related stigma and discrimination
Although HIV-related stigma has declined in the region, many Ugandans still have discriminatory attitudes towards people living with HIV.
A recent survey indicates that 25% of Ugandans would not buy vegetables from an HIV positive vendor.
Key populations especially men who have sex with men (MSM) and people who inject drugs are extremely stigmatized. In the mentioned seurvey, 64% of people who inject drugs said they they avoided health-care services for fear of discrimination or of being reported to law enforcement authorities.
Eastern and Southern Africa remain the world’s most affected regions with 45% of HIV infections. These areas also make up 53% of the world’s population of people living with HIV.
Gender-based violence and inequality equally place women and girls in eastern and southern Africa at huge risk of HIV infection. In household surveys conducted in 12 countries between 2013 and 2016, 30% of Ugandan women reported that a male partner had physically or sexually assaulted them in the previous 12 months. This has been shown to increase vulnerability to HIV infection, and is a major concern.
HIV treatment progress and the 2020 target progress for Eastern and Southern Africa
Today, three out of four people living with HIV now know their status. This is one of the most important aspects of HIV prevention and treatment.
Among 19.6 million people living with HIV in eastern and southern Africa at the end of 2017, 81% knew their HIV status, an increase from 77% in 2016.
About 12.9 million(66%) people in the region were accessing antiretroviral therapy in 2017.
The estimated percentage of people living with HIV who achieved viral suppression increased from
48% in 2016 to 52% in 2017.
Funding for HIV responses in 2018
Mr. Sidibé was also distressed that there is a 20% shortfall for HIV funding. Emphasizing that HIV aid is non-negotiable since 44 of the most struck countries depend of international aid to support 75% of their national AIDS responses.