The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that millions of lives are at risk due to stalled progress towards HIV goals and shrinking resources.
In a statement, the WHO says division, disparity, and disregard for human rights are among the failures that allowed HIV to become and remain a global health crisis, putting the HIV response in danger.
In commemoration of the World AIDS Day today, under the theme “Equalize”, the WHO is calling on global leaders and citizens to boldly recognize and address the inequalities which are holding back progress in ending AIDS.
The world health body also calls for equalizing of access to essential HIV services, particularly for children and people in prisons.
“Persistent economic, social, cultural and legal inequalities and challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and other global crisis requires renewed efforts to maintain visibility for HIV and to end AIDS as a public health threat”, the statement reads in part.
“Inequalities still persist for the most basic services like testing and treatment. We must ensure that everyone, everywhere has equal access to HIV prevention, testing, treatment and care. Health services should be adapted to reach and meet the needs of populations most at risk and affected, and this includes implementing a ‘zero tolerance’ policy to stigma and discrimination in all health services”, it adds.