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Global HIV pandemic at risk of resurgence

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Approximately 37 million people are living with HIV or AIDS

Experts reveal that the HIV pandemic is at risk of coming back as a result of stalled funding.

The Lancet Commission has reported that funding for HIV prevention and treatment has halted, meaning that the disease could soon become uncontrolled.

‘Despite the remarkable progress of the HIV response, the situation has stagnated in the past decade,’ said Linda-Gail Bekker, president of the International AIDS Society.

‘Reinvigorating this work will be demanding - but the future health and wellbeing of millions of people require that we meet this challenge.’

At this rate, the goal of ending the pandemic by 2030 will not be achieved as UN targets agreed upon by member states have been missed.

Approximately 37 million people are living with HIV or AIDS, with roughly 1.8 million new cases a year – more than triple the target of 500,000 new infections by 2020.

Experts are calling for urgent changes to control the spread of the disease, particularly in groups where HIV rates are not falling, such as younger people and those in developing countries.

Current funding is at £14.7 billion when it should be £20.1 billion to achieve the UN targets – this budget could include services for HIV alone but also combined services such as HIV screening with other conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

In the UK there has been a decline in new HIV diagnoses in gay and bisexual men for the first time since the epidemic was detected over 30 years ago according to reports from Public Health England in 2017.

There has also been a decline in late HIV diagnoses, AIDS and deaths over the past decade by 25%.

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