African Union and partners call for accelerated efforts to close the tap on new HIV infections to end AIDS as a public health threat
Call for evidence-informed, community-owned and rights based combination prevention
Abidjan, 08 December 2017- The African Union on Wednesday told participants at the ongoing International AIDS Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa that closing the tap of new HIV infections is the way to achieve the bold and ambitious targets set at the continental level. Africa led the HIV treatment access movement by putting 10.7 million people on treatment, contributing to the global targets to put 15 million people on treatment by 2015, achieved nine months ahead of schedule. The meeting urged Africa to similarly take a lead role in HIV prevention.
‘Building the momentum for HIV prevention is anchored on expanding both biomedical and proven primary prevention interventions. To be more effective HIV prevention packages should be evidence informed and meet local needs. Leaders and activists at various levels should continue to work together to catalyse change, stop new HIV infections and leave no one behind’, said Dr. Marie-Goretti Harakeye, the Head of AIDS, TB, Malaria and Other Infectious Diseases at the African Union Commission.
Prevention of HIV transmission continues to be affected by structural barriers such as poverty and other social factors that will need to be addressed broadly.
Prevention is a very cost-effective way to reduce disease burden. The Catalytic Framework to end AIDS, TB and Eliminate Malaria in Africa by 2030 seeks to reduce new HIV infections compared with 2015 to less than 375,000 per year by 2020.
‘We have the science, innovation and tools for an HIV prevention movement. For greater impact and results we need to invest equally in prevention and treatment’ said Dr. Papa Salif Sow, Vice President for Africa, Gilead Sciences.
‘ While significant progress has been achieved in eliminating new HIV infections and keep mothers alive and healthy across Africa, only 5 countries on the continent have reached 95 per cent coverage. This calls for stepped up efforts to translate the existing political commitments into more sustained action in communities that are at great need of services’ said Chip Lyons, President and CEO of EGPAF.
During the meeting UNAIDS presented the recently adopted HIV Prevention 2020 Roadmap that 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.
The roadmap pushes for strengthened action around five combination prevention pillars, adolescent girls, young women and their male partners in high-prevalence locations; prevention programmes for key populations; strengthened national condom and related behavioural change programmes; voluntary medical male circumcision in high prevalence countries and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to population at greater risk.
For more information visit www.au.int
For more information:
About the African Union
The African Union spearheads Africa’s development and integration in close collaboration with African Union Member States, the Regional Economic Communities and African citizens. AU Vision: to accelerate progress towards an integrated, prosperous and inclusive Africa, at peace with itself, playing a dynamic role in the continental and global arena, effectively driven by an accountable, efficient and responsive Commission. Learn more at: http://www.au.int/en/