New UNAIDS Report: Smart Scale-up Needed to End AIDS by 2030
By EGPAF | July 16, 2014
In the first report of its kind, the UNAIDS Gap Report, released today (July 16), analyzes the reasons for the widening gap between people gaining access to HIV prevention, treatment, care, and support, and people being left behind. It shows how focusing on populations that are underserved and at higher risk for HIV will be key to ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.
"The world has witnessed extraordinary changes in the AIDS landscape. There have been more achievements in the past five years than in the preceding 23 years," the report said.
Ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 would mean the spread of HIV was being controlled or contained, and there would be significant declines in AIDS-related illness, stigma, and deaths.
According to the report, at the end of 2013, almost 13 million-HIV positive people had access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) --a dramatic improvement on the 10.6 million who were on treatment just one year earlier.
Since 2001, new HIV infections have fallen by 38 percent and AIDS-related deaths have fallen by 35 percent since a peak in 2005.
"More than ever before, there is hope that ending AIDS is possible. However, a business-as-usual approach or simply sustaining the AIDS response at its current pace cannot end the epidemic."
This success is dependent upon people knowing their status and getting them access to treatment—currently 19 million of the 35 million people living with HIV globally do not know their HIV-positive status, with 13 million of them receiving treatment.
“Whether you live or die should not depend on access to an HIV test,” said Michel Sidibé, M.D., executive director of UNAIDS. “Smarter scale-up is needed to close the gap between people who know their HIV status and people who don’t, people who can get services and people who can’t and people who are protected and people who are punished.”
The report also found that as people find out their HIV-positive status they will seek life-saving treatment. In sub-Saharan Africa, almost 90 percent of people who tested positive for HIV went on to access antiretroviral therapy (ART)—including pregnant women and mothers living with HIV. “If we accelerate all HIV scale-up by 2020, we will be on track to end the epidemic by 2030,” said Sidibé. “If not, we risk significantly increasing the time it would take—adding a decade, if not more.”
By ending the epidemic by 2030, the world would avert 18 million new HIV infections and 11.2 million AIDS-related deaths between 2013 and 2030.
At the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF), we know that ending AIDS in children is key to ending this epidemic. This includes decreasing the number of new pediatric infections and making sure those children that are born with HIV have access to lifesaving treatment.
Despite the encouraging progress highlighted in this report, every day almost 700 children become newly infected with HIV and only one-quarter of them have access to lifesaving ART. Without treatment 80 percent of all children living HIV won’t survive past their fifth today.
Our work won’t stop until no child has AIDS.