630,000 People Died From AIDS-related Illnesses In 2022-Global Fund

Even though HIV programs registered strong recoveries from the impact of COVID-19 in 2022, the number of people who continue to die from AIDS-related illnesses every year threatens to derail efforts to end AIDS by 2030.

By Michael Gwarisa

This was revealed by the Global Fund 2022 Results report which indicates that AIDS continues to be a major public health threat, with at least one person dying from an AIDS-related cause every minute. The disease has killed 40.4 million people to date.

HIV continues to affect every region of the world, and 39 million people were living with the virus in 2022. AIDS-related illnesses remain the leading cause of death among women (aged 15-49 years) in Africa. In 2022, 630,000 people died of AIDS-related causes – deaths that are largely avoidable through prevention interventions, early diagnosis and effective antiretroviral therapy and management of coinfections such as TB,reads part of the report.

According to the report, Stark inequities, both within and between countries, fuel HIV and AIDS as Key and vulnerable populations are often neglected in HIV responses. They face violence, stigma, discrimination, and other barriers to accessing HIV services that meet their specific needs.

“Antiretroviral therapy coverage is lower among people from key populations than among the general population, increasing the risk of HIV transmission. Gender inequalities, unequal power dynamics and harmful societal norms increase women and girls’ vulnerability to HIV infection, particularly across Africa. Resource constraints and a widening funding gap mean that countries cannot fully fund a complete HIV response.

“Without sufficient resources for effective and accessible prevention and treatment programs, people will continue to die. While there were 29.8 million people on lifesaving antiretroviral therapy globally in 2022, there are still close to 9.2 million people in the world who are living with HIV but who are not being treated.”

Children have also not been spared with indications that 1.5 million children are living with HIV globally. In 2022, approximately 84,000 children died from AIDS-related illnesses. Only 57 percent of children living with HIV globally were reported to be receiving treatment in 2022, compared to 77 percent of adults, due to gaps in early diagnosis and rapid linkage to treatment.

“Ensuring HIV-positive mothers and pregnant women have continued access to antiretroviral therapy is critical to prevent transmission of the virus to their babies. One of the most disturbing trends is the growing threat to human rights. Punitive laws and harsh policies fuel stigmatization, targeted discrimination and violence against key populations and LGBTQI+ people.

“This threatens to reverse our progress against HIV, as fear of violence, abuse, and incarceration can hinder access to prevention and treatment services. To achieve the 2030 SDG target, these infringements on human rights must stop,” said the report.

The Global Fund provides 28 percent of all international financing for HIV programs and has invested US$25.5 billion in programs to prevent and treat HIV and AIDS and US$4.6 billion in TB/HIV programs as of 30 June 2023. Since 2020, the Global Fund has also supported countries in mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on the HIV response. Our Strategy is focused on accelerating our progress to get back on track and meet the SDG target for 2030.



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