For over a decade the global response to AIDS has been heralded a relative success — a model for what’s possible when political will and funding are consistently directed toward a global health crisis. But that well-earned progress is now at risk of backsliding.
The good news is that the institutions and systems built to fight AIDS have been agile and responsive to this COVID crisis and are largely holding the line. The bad news is that they probably cannot hold that line much longer at current capacity, and with sustained headwinds from an unequal and inadequate COVID response.
After two years of tackling both pandemics simultaneously, a sober truth has emerged: persevering and catalyzing two decades of progress on HIV/AIDS will require stopping the spread of COVID-19 first.
This brief examines the state of the HIV/AIDS pandemic amid COVID-19, highlights the innovations and lessons that should underpin any pandemic response moving forward, and recommends three areas where progress is needed to put the AIDS response back on track.