The United Nations agency that is tasked with endings AIDS by 2030 says it is a political and financial choice countries will have to make.
UNAIDS reports that 630,000 people died from AIDS-related illnesses in 2022.
The agency issued a report, "The Path That Ends AIDS," which provides countries with tools to end the disease.
It's grounded in identifying and providing resources to at-risk communities, investing in life-saving resources and changing laws and polices that the agency says contributes to the spread of the disease.
“The end of AIDS is an opportunity for a uniquely powerful legacy for today’s leaders,” said Winnie Byanyima, executive director of UNAIDS. “They could be remembered by future generations as those who put a stop to the world’s deadliest pandemic."
UNAIDS uses "95-95-95" as a benchmark to ending AIDS. It means that 95% of people living with HIV or AIDS know their status, 95% of those individuals are on antiretroviral treatment, and 95% of them are considered "virally suppressed," meaning the virus is virtually undetectable.
The agency notes that Botswana, Eswatini, Rwanda, the United Republic of Tanzania, and Zimbabwe have already achieved the “95-95-95” targets.
Moreover, new HIV infections in eastern and southern Africa have been reduced by 57% since 2010, UNAIDS reports.
The agency, however, says Asia and the Pacific are seeing a troubling trend. Nearly 25% of new HIV infections were reported in the regions.
Despite the note of caution, UNAIDS believes its goal is attainable.
“We are hopeful, but it is not the relaxed optimism that might come if all was heading as it should be. It is, instead, a hope rooted in seeing the opportunity for success, an opportunity that is dependent on action,” Byanyima said.
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