World AIDS Day 2020

  • 01 December 2020
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This year, Covid-19 has made the lives of people living with HIV that much more difficult. For example, as of July 2020, one third of people on HIV treatment had experienced drug stockouts or interruptions in supplies. Supply disruptions such as these are devastating. A WHO and UNAIDS modelling study showed that six-month disruption in access to HIV medicines could lead to a doubling in AIDS-related deaths in sub-Saharan Africa in 2020 alone.

The theme of World AIDS Day 2020 is “Global solidarity, shared responsibility”. WHO is challenging and encouraging us all to stand in solidarity with those infected and affected by the HIV epidemic. In addition to that, HIV advocates are calling for greater efforts and coordination to eliminate HIV-related stigma. Left unchallenged, this stigma can have significant negative implications on HIV prevention efforts.

In his newsletter on Monday 30 November, President Cyril Ramaphosa lauded the strides made in the treatment of HIV/AIDS.” Our treatment programme has contributed to a reduction in the number of deaths due to Aids by 60%. There has been a greater reduction in HIV-related deaths among young people. It was possible to reduce the number of deaths because we, together with our partners, have rolled out an extensive antiretroviral programme reaching millions of people living with the disease,” he said.

As we commemorate World AIDS day, we must use this moment to highlight our successes and address the gaps in the treatment, prevention and care paradigms to demonstrate the strength of our resilience in our fight against this virus.

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