UN says Covid-19 pandemic hampered action to end AIDS

The UN General Assembly has overwhelmingly approved a declaration calling for urgent action to end AIDS by 2030, noting “with alarm” that the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated inequalities and pushed access to AIDS medicines, treatments and diagnosis further off track.

The declaration commits the assembly’s 193 member nations to implement the 18-page document, including reducing annual new HIV infections to under 370,000 and annual AIDS-related deaths to under 250,000 by 2025. It also calls for progress toward eliminating all forms of HIV-related stigma and discrimination and for urgent work toward an HIV vaccine and a cure for AIDS.

Without a huge increase in resources and coverage for those vulnerable and infected, “we will not end the AIDS epidemic by 2030,” the assembly warned.

It said the pandemic has created setbacks in combating AIDS, “widening fault lines within a deeply unequal world and exposing the dangers of under-investment in public health, health systems and other essential public services for all and pandemic preparedness.”