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UN says COVID-19 outbreak derails AIDS fight

UN (AP) – The UN General Assembly approved a declaration on Tuesday calling for urgent action to end AIDS by 2030, noting “with panic” that the COVID-19 pandemic. has intensified and pushed further access to drugs, treatment and diagnosis of AIDS. out of the way

The declaration requires the Assembly’s 193 member states to implement an 18-page document, including reducing annual new HIV infections to below 370,000 and annual AIDS-related deaths to below 370,000. Below 250,000 by 2025, it also calls for progress in eliminating all forms of AIDS. stigma and discrimination and urgent work on HIV vaccines and AIDS treatments.

Without huge increases in resources and coverage for vulnerable and infected people. “We will not end the AIDS epidemic by 2030,”

; the meeting warned.

It said the coronavirus pandemic had created a failure in the fight against AIDS. “Broaden the lines of flaws in a deeply unequal world and expose the dangers of investing in public health, health systems and other essential public services for all and pandemic preparedness.”

Although the response to international investment to the pandemic is insufficient. But it hasn’t been there before. such meeting

The response to the coronavirus of many countries has been shown. The “potential and urgency for greater investment” in response to the pandemic underscores the “necessity of increased investment for healthcare systems. including future responses to HIV and other diseases,” it said.

The meeting voted in favor of the three-day opening of a high-level meeting on AIDS with a vote of 165-4, with Russia, Belarus, Syria and Nicaragua voting “no”.

before voting The meeting rejected three amendments proposed by Russia.

They will eliminate references to human rights violations that perpetuate the global AIDS epidemic and the “right-based” cooperation approach by UNAIDS, the UN agency that is the global leader in ending the epidemic. AIDS They will also drop references to discriminatory law reforms. including age of consent HIV treatment interventions among intravenous drug users, including “opioid replacement therapy” and “expansion harm reduction programs”

Winnie Biayima, Executive Director of UNAIDS, welcomed the announcement and told the meeting that “It will be the basis for our 40-year work to end an epidemic that has devastated communities.”

calling AIDS a “One of the biggest pandemics in modern times,” she said, has infected 77.5 million people with HIV since the first case was reported in 1981, and nearly 35 million have died from AIDS.

“HIV rates are not in line with the path we promised together,” she said. We may see another epidemic.”

Byanyima says COVID-19 shows science moves “At the speed of political will” and accelerate spending on innovations for AIDS treatment, prevention, care and vaccines. “It is a public commodity all over the world”

On the positive side, the conference announcement said that since 2001 there has been a 54 percent drop in AIDS deaths and a 37 percent drop in global HIV infections, but warned that “overall progress has slowed. dangerously since 2016.”

show meeting There were “deep concern” that 1.7 million new cases were reported in 2019, compared to the global target of less than 500,000 in 2020, and that new HIV infections have increased in at least 33 countries since. 2016

Africa, especially in sub-Saharan Africa has shown the greatest advances in tackling the AIDS epidemic. But it is also the region hardest hit, calling for “urgent and special action” to reduce the deadly impact of the infection. especially with women teenage girls and children

Council members welcomed progress in reducing HIV infection and AIDS deaths in Asia and the Pacific, the Caribbean, Western and Central Europe. and North America But they noted that despite progress “The Caribbean continues to have the highest prevalence outside of sub-Saharan Africa,” while the number of new HIV infections is rising in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa.

Byanyima emphasizes the importance of ending disparities in drug availability. and ensuring that drugs that can prevent the deaths of people living with HIV are produced by multiple manufacturers at reasonable prices. “Especially in the southern regions of the world where the disease is concentrated.”

“This moment calls for us to work together across sectors, across the country,” she said. “The false promises of populism are proving incompatible with biology. As COVID warns us We are not just connected. But we are inseparable.”

“We cannot end AIDS in one country or one continent. We can only end AIDS everywhere,” Byanyima said.

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