Globally, new HIV infections among adults and children were reduced by 40% since the peak in 1997 but new analysis from UNAIDS shows that new HIV infections among adults have stalled, failing to decline for at least five years.
A report by UNAIDS has warned that the goal of eradicating Aids by 2030 will not be achieved without more work on prevention as HIV continues to infect 2 million more people every year.
According to the UNAIDS Report that was released last week, the world needs to take urgent and immediate action to prevent resurgence in new infections that will make the epidemic impossible to control.
The Prevention gap report shows that while significant progress is being made in stopping new HIV infections among children (new HIV infections have declined by more than 70% among children since 2001 and are continuing to decline), there are concerning trends in new HIV infections among adults as the decline in new HIV infections among adults has stalled.
“…Progress on preventing HIV infections among adults has stalled in recent years. The rates of new HIV infections among young women and girls and their male sexual partners in high prevalence settings in Africa remains unacceptably high, and among key populations globally they have hardly changed since 2010.”
It further showed that Antiretroviral therapy rollout has led to a massive reduction in AIDS-related deaths, but viral suppression rates are still too low to realize the prevention dividend of treatment.
The report shows that HIV prevention urgently needs to be scaled up. Of critical importance for the future of the prevention response, it notes, will be the relationship between government and community actors.
It states that renewed prevention activism and a new compact between government and civil society organizations are needed. This partnership, it states, must go beyond grass-roots advocacy for risk awareness and “staying HIV free.” Country compacts should include strengthened and clearly defined civil society roles in prevention programme planning, implementation and joint monitoring of progress against ambitious targets.