40 years later and 10.2 million people living with HIV are still not on ARVs
It’s been 40 years since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published their first report on an immune disease that would later develop into HIV. Today, the widespread deployment of antiretroviral (ARV) therapy to people with all CD4 levels means that 27.4 million of the 37.6 million people living with HIV have access to life-saving care.
In addition, according to a report published by the United Nations Program on HIV / AIDS (UNAIDS) for the 40th anniversary, deaths from AIDS-defining illnesses have fallen by just 43% in the past decade, and HIV pre-exposure treatment and prophylaxis (PrEP) have probably prevented 16.2 million transmissions since 2001.
But according to UNAIDS, 10.2 million people are still under treatment and 57% of too many people die from AIDS-defining causes. To close the gap, countries, including the United States, will need to address their inequity issues, according to a press release.
At least, this is the lesson of countries that have reached the UNAIDS 2020 targets to diagnose 90% of people with HIV, 90% of people on treatment and 90% of people with HIV / AIDS. those supported to achieve an undetectable viral load.
“The best performing countries have paved the way for others,” Winnie Byanyima, UNAIDS Executive Director, said in a press release. “Their adequate funding, genuine community engagement, multisectoral and rights-based approaches and the use of scientific evidence to guide targeted strategies have reversed their epidemics and saved lives. “
These rights-based and science-based laws and policies include comprehensive HIV testing, PrEP, harm reduction programs, and consistent, high-quality monitoring and care. The “Ending the HIV Epidemic“ plan is one approach to solving this problem. However, it does not address issues of racism in medicine, mass incarceration, criminalization of HIV, criminalization of harm reduction programs, income inequality, attacks on LGBT healthcare. or lack of universal health care, which research shows helps improve outcomes for all people, but especially for those affected by HIV. Organizations like the Black AIDS Institute and the NMAC have come up with their own ways to overcome these structural obstacles.
Rochelle Walensky, MD, HIV physician and CDC chief, issued a statement on the occasion of 40e AIDS anniversary calling on policymakers to ‘fully fund and urgently and equitably implement what we know to work, such as PrEP distribution and education, needle service programs and an infrastructure for a response rapid to potential HIV epidemics ”.
“In doing so, we will honor all those affected by this virus, from the five cases initially reported on June 5, 1981 to the 32 million people who have died of AIDS-related illness around the world, including 730,000 people in this country,” and many more living with and struggling with the virus and the stigma associated with it every day. “
Click here for more information on Ending the HIV Epidemic.