The enormous progress on HIV treatment and awareness is one of the big public health success stories of the century.
However, there is still a long way to go, in terms of eradicating this syndrome from the lives of humans.
Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General, WHO said “the enormous progress on HIV, particularly on treatment, is one of the big public health success stories of the century, But this is no time for complacency. If the world is to achieve its goal of ending AIDS by 2030, it must rapidly expand and intensify its efforts.”
He made the statement at the International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa, from 18–22 July 2016, and flagged four challenges to global HIV response, here is the list:
Need to renew attention to HIV prevention: Reducing new HIV infections means addressing the social and legal barriers that impede many people from accessing HIV services. It means tailoring prevention programmes so the right services reach the groups that are most vulnerable and affected, ensuring that individuals have easy access to approaches that work, and work for them. Who highlighted that in 2015 there were 2.1 million new HIV infections – marginally fewer than the 2.2 million in 2010. In some regions, and among some groups, infections are rising.
Maintaining momentum on scaling up access to HIV treatment: It says “more than 40% of people living with HIV still do not know they are infected, highlighting the need for ready access to simple and affordable testing services. Thus, it finds that there is also a need to tailor treatment programmes to reach people who may be reluctant to come forward.
Growing emergence of antiretroviral (ARV) drug resistance: WHO’s last report on HIV-related drug resistance (2004-2008) showed that 5% of people on ART were resistant to at least 1 antiretroviral drug. The Organization is monitoring the trends and notes worrisome indications that drug resistance is emerging as a more significant threat in some countries and populations.
Need for sustainable financing of the global response: It highlights that middle-income countries will face particular challenges as they transition from external to predominantly domestic funding of their HIV and broader health services.