News: Experts treating HIV/AIDS are worried that the COVID19 pandemic has delayed the World Health Organization’s (WHO) target to improve the life of people living with HIV (PLHIV).
- The theme of World AIDS Day this year, to be observed on December 1, is ‘Ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic: resilience and impact’.
- The method to achieve this by 2030 is to ensure lifesaving antiretroviral therapy (ART) reaches all those who are infected and that all persons living with HIV know their status.
- The aim is to ensure that those on ART are viral suppressed so that infection is negligible. The aim of the WHO, to which India is a signatory, was to ensure that 90% of PLHIV know their status, 90% of them are on lifesaving ART and 90% of those on ART are virally suppressed, before the end of 2020. By 2030, it aimed to make ART accessible to every PLHIV, which in turn reduces the viral load in their blood to undetectable levels.
- This would result in making negligible their risk of transmitting HIV.
- The UNAIDS Report 2020, Asia Pacific region saw a 12% decline in new HIV infections and a 29% decline in AIDS related deaths over the last decade.
- The 2017 National Health Policy and the UN Sustainable Development Goals aim to end AIDS by 2030.
- India adopted the test and treat strategy of the WHO as a national policy to achieve the target of 90:90:90 by 2020