10 October 2017
As part of global efforts to end AIDS as a public health threat, UNAIDS, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and partners have launched a new road map to reduce new HIV infections. The HIV prevention 2020 road map was launched at the first meeting of the Global HIV Prevention Coalition. The coalition is chaired by the Executive Directors of UNAIDS and UNFPA and brings together United Nations Member States, civil society, international organizations and other partners as part of efforts to reduce new HIV infections by 75% by 2020.
“Scaling up treatment alone will not end AIDS,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “We need more energy and action put into HIV prevention—stronger leadership, increased investment and community engagement to ensure that everyone, particularly people at higher risk of HIV, can protect themselves against the virus.”
“In many places, lack of access to education, lack of agency and lack of autonomy over their own bodies keep adolescent girls from claiming their human rights. And the poorest girls have the least power to decide whether, when or whom to marry and whether, when or how often to become pregnant,” said UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem. “This lack of power makes each one of these girls extremely vulnerable to HIV infection, sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancy.”
The HIV prevention 2020 road map contains a 10-point action plan that lays out immediate, concrete steps countries need to take to accelerate progress. Steps include conducting up-to-date analysis to assess where the opportunities are for maximum impact, developing guidance to identify gaps and actions for rapid scale-up, training to develop expertise in HIV prevention and on developing networks and addressing legal and policy barriers to reach the people most affected by HIV, including young people and key populations. The road map identifies factors that have hindered progress, such as gaps in political leadership, punitive laws, a lack of services accessible to young people and a lack of HIV prevention services in humanitarian settings. It also highlights the importance of community engagement as advocates, to ensure service delivery and for accountability.
Concerted efforts will be needed to reach adolescent girls and young women and their male partners, to scale up combination HIV prevention programmes for key populations, to increase the availability and uptake of condoms, to expand voluntary medical male circumcision programmes for HIV prevention and to ensure that people at higher risk of HIV have access to preventative medicines.
Read the full article online here.