THE Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) said the limited access to COVID-19 vaccines for developing countries will have a negative impact on people living with HIV.
By Staff Reporter
In a report titled ‘Confronting Inequalities developing countries have been at a disadvantage over access to COVID-19 vaccines compared to rich countries which have monopolised access.
“COVID-19 vaccines that could save millions of lives trickle into developing countries as new waves of infections threaten to overwhelm their under-financed health systems. At the end of June 2021, just 1% of people in low-income countries and 11% in lower-middle-income countries had received at least one dose of a potentially life-saving COVID-19 vaccine, compared to 46% in high income countries,”reads the statement.
This affects a huge population of people living with HIV. This includes low-income and lower middle-income countries are home to a majority of the world’s people living with HIV, and an increasing body of evidence indicates that people living with HIV who acquire SARS-CoV-2 infection are at heightened risk of severe COVID-19 illness and death.
“In sub-Saharan Africa, where two thirds (67%) of people living with HIV resided in 2020, the highest rates of one-dose COVID-19 vaccination coverage in June 2021 were in Equatorial Guinea (19%), Botswana and Zimbabwe (9% each), and Namibia (6%). No other countries in the region exceeded 5%.
“After spending decades fighting for access to the HIV medicines available in rich countries, people living with HIV in the developing world are once again being denied their right to health by an international system that puts profits over people,reads the statement.source.