UN: COVID and Conflicts Halted Progress in Fighting AIDS

    Photo: NIH/AP [via The Washington Post]

    The Facts

    • According to a report published by the UN on Wed., the COVID pandemic and other global crises - such as Russia's invasion of Ukraine - have hampered the progress against the spread of HIV over the last two years.

    • UN data suggested that some 650k people died of HIV and AIDS last year and 1.5 million people were newly infected with HIV. Experts say that the global focus on COVID was a key factor in the reallocation of resources and attention away from tackling HIV. The number of new infections also saw the smallest decline in six years, dropping by only 3.6% between 2020 and 2021.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    Developed countries need to make a strong financial commitment to enable the UN to end AIDS by 2030. $29.3B is urgently needed by 2025 and the UN is currently $8B short. Only by prioritizing vulnerable nations and communities will humanity be able to end this horrific disease.

    Narrative B

    While COVID has temporarily hampered efforts to tackle HIV infections, a return to pandemic normality will likely see countries relocate their resources back to diseases like AIDS. In the meantime, there are lots of developments to feel positively about including new treatments and the prospect of reversing the infection in long-term sufferers. There are good reasons for optimism.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 21% chance that there will be more people living globally with HIV/AIDS in 2037, than in 2017, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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