Medicine

UNAIDS says 1.7 mln new HIV infections recorded in 2018

UNAIDS says 1.7 mln new HIV infections recorded in 2018

Mabuza also links HIV with social injustice, saying that "unless we deal decisively with the challenges of unemployment, poverty, gender-based violence, substance abuse and poor housing among others, we will not be able to heal our society".

Earlier this month, researchers at Temple University announced they had succeeded in eliminating HIV from mice and said their results are an important advance in efforts to develop a cure for HIV infection in people. With 1.8m new infections still reported in 2018. In many countries, great progress continues to expand access to HIV treatment and prevention options that are, in turn, reducing AIDS-related deaths and new HIV infections.

However, there is still a long way to go in eastern and southern Africa, the region most affected by HIV. Cryptococcal meningitis (an infection of the brain) affects hundreds of thousands of people living with HIV each year and accounts for 15 to 20 per cent of all AIDS-related deaths.

It noted "worrying increases" in new infections in eastern Europe and central Asia, where HIV cases rose by 29%, as well as in the Middle East, North Africa and Latin America. Overall reductions in Aids-related deaths are mainly due to progress in eastern and southern Africa.

"If the world is to be on track to end AIDS by 2030, there must be adequate and predictable financing for development", said Gunilla Carlsson, the UNAIDS Executive Director, a.i.

The increases over the past two years comes after there was a drop in the number of new HIV cases in each of the four preceding years.

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According to UNAIDS, in 2018, "investment in the HIV responses of low-and middle-income countries decreased by $900 million (to $19 billion)".

This plan has a clear roadmap on how to address human rights violations for people infected and affected by HIV and TB, and for vulnerable and marginalized populations, said Mabuza. "This starts with investing adequately and smartly and by looking at what's making some countries so successful". "Preventing, detecting and treating advanced HIV and AIDS demands more attention and funding, especially in low coverage settings such as West and Central Africa, and in neglected populations".

The report urged the global community to ensure that 30 million people living with HIV had access to treatment through meeting the 90-90-90 target by 2020.

These countries and communities must urgently get the necessary resources and support to apply the community approaches of HIV testing and treatment, like in Eshowe.

In 2014, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and partners launched the 90-90-90 targets; the aim was to diagnose 90% of all HIV-positive persons, provide antiretroviral therapy (ART) for 90% of those diagnosed, and achieve viral suppression for 90% of those treated by 2020.