A new report by UNAIDS shows that 19 million of the 35 million people living with HIV globally do not know their HIV-positive status. “Whether you live or die should not depend on access to an HIV test,” said Michel Sidibé, 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 UNAIDS Gap report shows that as people find out their HIV-positive status they will seek life-saving treatment. In sub-Saharan Africa, almost 90% of people who tested positive for HIV went on to access antiretroviral therapy (ART). Research shows that in sub-Saharan Africa, 76% of people on ART have achieved viral suppression, whereby they are unlikely to transmit the virus to their sexual partners. New data analysis demonstrates that for every 10% increase in treatment coverage there is a 1% decline in the percentage of new infections among people living with HIV.
The report highlights that efforts to increase access to ART are working. In 2013, an additional 2.3 million people gained access to the life-saving medicines. This brings the global number of people accessing ART to nearly 13 million by the end of 2013. Based on past scale-up, UNAIDS projects that as of July 2014 as many as 13 950 296 people were accessing ART.
“If we accelerate all HIV scale-up by 2020, we will be on track to end the epidemic by 2030,” said Mr 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.
WHO: Consolidated Guidelines on HIV prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care fr Key Populations
In this new consolidated guidelines document on HIV prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care for key populations, the World Health Organization brings together all existing guidance relevant to five key populations – men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, people in prisons and other closed settings, sex workers and transgender people – and updates selected guidance and recommendations.