Projections estimate that a six-month disruption in antiretroviral therapy could lead to more than 500,000 AIDS-related deaths in 2020–2021, including through a rise tuberculosis in sub-Saharan Africa. If action is not taken immediately, there is a heightened risk of turning the clock on AIDS-related deaths back to 2008, when more than 950,000 people in the region lost their lives. Between closed HIV services, antiretroviral supply chain disruptions and overwhelmed services trying to support the competing COVID-19 response, people living with HIV risk treatment interruptions. It is important that the progress made in HIV prevention and care is not reversed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is in this context that the Commission hosted a virtual roundtable panel discussion to highlight how AU Member States can ensure an effective, community-led response to HIV/AIDS on the continent.
Recommendations extended by the panelists during the webinar were compiled into an information note which can be downloaded here.