GENEVA, July 6 (Xinhua) – The latest UNAIDS AIDS report reveals successes in reducing new infections and achieving the ambitious 90-90-90 target, but also shows failures, and this indicates that the task is still far from complete, said UNAIDS executive director Winnie Byanyima in an interview with Xinhua recently.
According to the UNAIDS 2020 World Report released on Monday, significant progress has been made worldwide in “accelerating the deployment of HIV services”, following a decision by the United Nations General Assembly there has four years to end AIDS by 2030. However, “none of the global targets set for 2020” compared to the campaign to end AIDS “will be met”, and this is due to “too little of resources “invested and to the current COVID-19 pandemic.
That’s why we called it [le rapport] “Let’s act now,” said the UNAIDS executive director. “Our progress towards the end of AIDS, as a threat to public health, by 2030, was already slow before the COVID-19 epidemic,” she warned in the report, “now this crisis potentially risks losing even more ground. “
According to Byanyima, to date, another 38 million people worldwide, many of whom are young people, are living with HIV and of these, 25.4 million are on treatment. This means that 4.6 million are still waiting to access care. “Last year, we still recorded a high number of deaths, around 690,000 people, due to AIDS-related pathologies, which is much higher than the target of 500,000 deaths in 2010. It is unacceptable! ” she said.
“However, we see that some countries, with the political will to invest resources in this sector, have reduced the number of deaths,” she said. South Africa, for example, has reduced the death rate by 53% in 10 years, while the world average is 23%. “If a country can do it, we can do it in other countries too,” she added.
Byanyima said deaths occur mainly in key populations, which include vulnerable groups such as LGBT people, sex workers, and people who use drugs, who are marginalized and see their rights raped. “This is why we are witnessing more deaths in central and southern Africa”.
She confirmed that UNAIDS is developing a new strategy and that next year it will present a resolution to the United Nations General Assembly to adopt new, more ambitious goals.
UNAIDS currently has a series of goals that aim to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030. They include: making 90% of people living with HIV aware of their HIV status by 2020; provide 90% of people diagnosed with HIV infection with sustainable antiretroviral therapy by 2020; eliminate the virus in 90% of people on antiretroviral therapy by 2020.
Since two-thirds of the population living with HIV is in Africa, Ms. Byanyima specified the areas that need to make progress on the continent, such as reducing the vulnerability of women and girls.
“It is a question of confronting these structural barriers, the inequalities which are at the base of the high vulnerability of women and girls, for example by continuing to educate them, by giving them access to health and rights as regards sexuality and procreation, as well as comprehensive sexuality education. “
Compared to the progress made in Africa, the UNAIDS Executive Director drew attention to the contribution of China in supporting the strengthening of health capacities in Africa, especially during the fight against AIDS.
“China has a strong relationship with Africa, which has existed for many years. We see China helping African countries to strengthen their health systems; we see China supporting the new African Center for the Control and Prevention of diseases, a very important center for the whole region. China is also helping to fight epidemics, especially those of HIV and COVID-19. Therefore, this is an important relationship, “she said. indicated.
She added that UNAIDS maintains good relations with the Chinese government, adding: “Every year, we bring technical teams to China to have exchanges with Chinese scientists, technicians and other professionals, in order to share knowledge that can be used for capacity building in Africa. It is very good support. China also chaired a UNAIDS Council last year, giving us strategic direction and providing support. “
“One thing we have learned from the COVID-19 crisis is that no one is safe until everyone is safe. We need the multilateral system,” said Ms. Byanyima, “China is a great defender of the multilateral system. On the health issue, we continue to appreciate China‘s support through the United Nations, and we are grateful for it. “
She encouraged each government to consider health issues as global issues, and not to focus on oneself to find individual solutions. “China has declared that a vaccine is a global public good. We want to encourage China to maintain this position. And if it were to have a vaccine, to make it available as a global public good,” he said. she concluded.