Progress seen in recent years against the HIV pandemic, including in rising numbers of people diagnosed and treated accompanied by dropping rates of incidence and death, is slowing while populations long facing the most daunting obstacles to services remain at highest risk, according to a UNAIDS report released today.
The data, including numbers showing that more than half of people becoming infected with HIV are among populations marginalized by discriminatory laws, policies and stigmas, including against men who have sex with men, transgender women, people earning income through sex work, their clients and partners, and people who inject drugs, shows diminishing donor investments leading to gaps in resources needed to ensure adequate access to testing, prevention, and antiretroviral treatment.
The report highlights community-based and community-led initiatives and projects that it says will be critical to maximizing the value of investments, with informed outreach, health and legal services, harm reduction, and involvement in treatment decisions. Extending the reach of biomedical advances and overcoming structural barriers to risk awareness, HIV testing and care, community-based efforts have made significant gains through social media channels the report shows.
But, as a joint Kaiser Family Foundation and UNAIDS report also released today notes, uncertainties regarding future funding continue to raise questions on the amount and allocation of dollars needed to fill existing gaps.