WASHINGTON – The ONE Campaign today responded to a new report from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) showing that progress in the fight against AIDS has slowed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and other global crises.
The new data shows that after years in decline, HIV/AIDS infections are rising in some parts of the world and progress in other regions has slowed significantly. Between 2020 and 2021, we saw the smallest decrease in new infections globally in five years- putting millions more people at risk.
The UNAIDS report comes ahead of the Seventh Replenishment Conference of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which seeks to raise necessary new funding to support the fight against the three diseases. The Global Fund needs $18 billion to recover ground lost to COVID-19 and get the fight against AIDS, TB, and malaria back on track.
Tom Hart, president of The ONE Campaign, said: “This new data confirms our worst fears – that the fallout from the global COVID-19 pandemic and the other crises slammed on the brakes in the fight against AIDS. Two decades of progress was halted in two years. And as with all viruses, if you are not making progress, you are losing the fight.
“It will be the most vulnerable people who are paying the highest price – women and girls, people in the poorest countries, and marginalized communities. Yet again, where people live will determine whether they live.
“We can and must do better. We can still win the fight against AIDS – we have the tools, know-how, and resources – but only if we do what it takes to protect people everywhere. That needs to start by funding the fight against AIDS when world leaders gather to refinance the Global Fund in September. Their actions will determine whether these figures are a short-term blip or a lasting trend.