Global gains against the AIDS epidemic are slowing. In order for world leaders to deliver on their commitment to ending the disease as a public health threat by 2030, Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of UNAIDS, stresses that we need to turbocharge the AIDS response with bolder political leadership and put an end to HIV-related stigma and discrimination.
“There are an estimated 22.4 million people living with HIV in the Commonwealth – almost 60 per cent of the worldwide total.”
Over the past four decades, the world has come far in understanding the HIV epidemic and has greatly increased its ability to reduce the impact of the virus. By harnessing the collective strength of international donors, governments, policymakers, civil society and community activists, medical experts, scientists and researchers, we now have a wide range of effective tools to prevent and treat HIV.
Today, more people have access to lifesaving treatment than ever before and millions of lives have been saved. This is to be celebrated.
And yet, there are an estimated 22.4 million people living with HIV in the Commonwealth – almost 60 per cent of the worldwide total of 37.9 million.
In 2018, 770,000 people died of AIDS-related illnesses worldwide. More than 14 million people living with HIV globally were still waiting for medicines that could keep them alive and well and, once a person is virally suppressed, stop the virus being transmitted. An estimated 1.7 million people became newly infected with HIV, and around 160,000 children aged 0–14 years acquired HIV – far wide of the target of 40,000 that world leaders had set for 2018…
Executive Director, UNAIDS