Combating HIV AIDS: what are the latest developments?
World AIDS Day observance dates back to 1988 when the infection spread furiously throughout the Sub Saharan countries.
Since then, there are specific themes that are focused on every year. This year the theme is “Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Resilience and Impact.”
What do the statistics say?
An estimated 38 million people are living with HIV infection. In 2019, the new cases were 17,00,000. Only 68% of HIV infected people received lifelong antiretroviral therapy (ART) in 2019.
This shows that HIV still remains a global pandemic, and people are facing even more harsh challenges during COVID-19.
The COVID-19 situation has resulted in the breakdown of essential health services for HIV or AIDS patients.
However, there has been an increase in the coverage of services in a steady manner.
Around 85% of pregnant women with HIV have received ART which has prevented transmission of HIV infection to the newborn.
Also, between 2000 and 2019, the new infection rate fell by 39% and the death rate fell by 51%.
Still, everyone is not able to access the testing kit for HIV and meet the cost of its treatment and care.
Due to these gaps, 6,90,000 people living with HIV died in 2019.
New treatment stories for AIDS
A promising antiretroviral medication has been in the news that is able to suppress the viral activity for about 48 weeks.
This is a combination drug of islatravir combined with doravirine (Pifeltro).
Another study has used tenofovir disoproxil fumarate as the first-line treatment followed by zidovudine as the second-line treatment.
Current spreading pattern of HIV
There has been report of rising cases of undiagnosed HIV cases in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
Around 1,36,000 cases have been diagnosed in Europe with 80% cases in Eastern Europe.
There has been an increase in new cases in these areas by 19%.