Nairobi, 13 Apr. The Joint UN Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) regretted today that progress to reduce the prevalence of HIV is too slow, something that, according to a new report from the institution, would change with the arrival of more funds to fully cover their projects in Africa.
“This report comes at a critical time and with evidence that should act to favor policy decisions to ensure full funding for HIV programmes,” said UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima.
“(The funds) will put African countries on the path to building more resilient health systems and being more prepared for future epidemics,” he added.
According to UNAIDS, its projects can reduce new HIV infections by between 40 and 90%, depending on the country, produce economic and social benefits, and reduce gender inequalities if they receive adequate financing.
In addition to saving lives, UNAIDS stressed that investments to respond to the HIV epidemic also contribute “to broader social and economic priorities, both through the collateral implications of reduced mortality and morbidity and by freeing up resources that could be devoted to broader priorities.”
However, this UN institution indicated that global progress in the response to HIV and AIDS is slow and has also been hampered by the coronavirus pandemic, which has put strong pressure on health systems and their financing.
In addition, movement restrictions “exacerbated existing inequalities, making vulnerable groups less likely to access health services” and HIV medicines.
Without “urgent and collaborative action” that prioritizes programs on HIV, the fight against the virus “will continue to lag behind” and young women, children and other vulnerable sectors of the population “will pay the highest price,” according to UNAIDS.
Around 38.4 million people are living with HIV worldwide.
In sub-Saharan Africa, six out of seven new infections among adolescents between the ages of 15 and 19 affect girls, a sector of the population twice as likely to be living with HIV than young men, according to UNAIDS.