South Africa: World Aids Day - How Stigma Is Impacting On the 90-90-90 Goals

analysis

The HIV epidemic is far from over and we will not reach key UNAIDS targets and control HIV unless we end HIV-related stigma.

Compared with the Covid-19 epidemic, the HIV epidemic has had a long trajectory, playing out over four decades. During this time we have experienced a number of eras. The first was notable for devastating death and despair with mostly young and fit adults and their young offspring the main victims.

Subsequently, the discovery of antiretrovirals and more particularly combination antiviral therapy has led to the transformation of the modern era where HIV is now no longer a death sentence, but a chronic disease that requires lifelong therapy.

The most recent era has been characterised by the recognition that in order to realise Aids epidemic control globally, we will need to not only reduce substantially the number of individuals still able to transmit their infection because of uncontrolled HIV viral loads, but also increase the scale-up of primary prevention.

UNAIDS encourages us to reach all, and "leave no one behind" in our programmes. With the ambitious targets set by UNAIDS for both treatment and prevention, it is fortunate that the recent innovation in antiretroviral use as prevention has...

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