This World AIDS Day, we have some unfinished business in the fight against HIV/AIDS. So much, in fact, that we are at a loss for words:
The good news? More than 15 million people around the world are now on antiretroviral treatment, up from just 700,000 in 2000.
Even better: Nearly 8 MILLION AIDS-related deaths have been averted since 2000 because the world took action.
The bad news? Of the 37 million people living with HIV/AIDS, just 40% are able to access treatment. That’s unacceptable.
And the challenge isn’t going away: 2 million people became newly infected with HIV last year.
Every day, 600 children are still born with HIV around the world. More than a quarter of them will be born in Nigeria alone.
Girls and young women in sub-Saharan Africa are almost three times as likely as their male peers to be living with HIV. Still think poverty isn’t sexist?
Young girls and women aren’t the only vulnerable populations we aren’t doing enough to reach: compared with the general population, men who have sex with men are 19 times more likely to be living with HIV.
And transgender women are 49 times more likely to be living with HIV than other adults of reproductive age.
44 countries still rely on international donors for 75% (or more!) of their AIDS financing needs.
Yet global spending on AIDS has stagnated – leaving us $12 BILLION short of the total annual financing needed by 2020. This has to change.
If we want to see the end of AIDS in our lifetime, we need to start taking action now.