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HIV/AIDS in 2018: Much remains to be done!

(Blogmensgo, gay blog of July 23, 2018) Progress in the eradication of AIDS by 2030 is real but “uneven and fragile”. This is what the UN Secretary-General said on 13 July 2018 when he presented a report entitled “Leveraging the AIDS response for United Nations reform and global health” (EN | FR), which was supplemented by a summary of UNAIDS (EN | FR) updated in 2018.

In other words, efforts to combat HIV must be stepped up worldwide, including in areas where progress is already being made, including and especially among the most vulnerable or stigmatized groups, especially transgender women and men who have sex with men, as shown in this chart.

UNAIDS  chart

Maximum risk of infection for gays and transsexual women. ©Onusida 2018

This requires health actions to be intensified, more targeted and better funded. According to UNAIDS, $7 billion is needed to finance the fight against HIV/AIDS in line with the announced goals.

In 2016 there were 1 million AIDS deaths, a third less than in 2010. 20.9 million people with HIV were under antiretroviral treatment in June 2017, almost three times as many as in 2010, but 15.8 million people had no access to the necessary medicines. These figures raise both hope (three times more people in treatment and a third fewer deaths) and pessimism (almost half of those infected have no access to antiretroviral drugs).

The number of new HIV infections is also declining, but only by 18% between 2010 and 2016. 1.8 million new infections occurred in 2016, more than three times the official target of 500,000 cases per year.

Not only must we intensify the fight in the areas most affected, but we must also not be satisfied with figures that are less bad than elsewhere, the UN report says (on page 4):

In lower-prevalence settings, most HIV infections occur among key populations — people who inject drugs, sex workers, transgender people, prisoners, and gay men and other men who have sex with men — and their sexual partners. Outside of sub-Saharan Africa, key populations and their sexual partners accounted for 80 per cent of new HIV infections in 2015. Even in sub-Saharan Africa, key populations and their sexual partners accounted for an estimated 25 per cent of new infections in 2015, underlining the importance of reaching them with services [such as prevention and treatment].

The report contains six key recommendations for a better response to HIV/AIDS, including the following:

  1. Revolutionizing HIV testing.
  2. Systematic and combined prevention of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and other related infections and diseases.
  3. Promotion of human rights (in particular women’s rights) and the fight against discrimination.

The UN report on AIDS was presented about 10 days before the 22nd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018), to be held in Amsterdam from 23 to 27 July 2018.
(Caution: Only the official conference website www.aids2018.org accepts registrations correctly and invoices them.)

What is this about? It’s about all this…

… and much more.

As every year, Aidsmap offers free coverage of the event – on the Internet and in the form of newsletters (sent out daily during the conference) on the most important topics.
(Aidsmap is free, but donations are very welcome.)

After the free registration Aidsmap sends out daily newsletters in five languages (French, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian) by e-mail.

This year, several conference sessions will also be streamed directly from AIDS 2018.

Frank-S / MensGo

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