End Inequalities, End AIDs

by | Jun 4, 2022 | Eq - Written | 0 comments

COVID-19 has brought these inequalities to the forefront, exposed them and forcefully, demanded accountability and resolutions. The HIV response addresses inequalities that drastically affect the key populations and priority populations such the LGBT community, and young girls and women respectively whom today’s society sadly tries to deem as week which could be further from the truth.

Developing countries especially in Africa have some of the highest rates of epidemic diseases like AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis (TB). The global Aids data states that the strategy is to end Inequalities. According to KENPHIA the prevalence of HIV in women is at 6.6%, twice that in men which is at 3.1%. The gender imbalance in the burden of HIV is even greater between the ages of 20-34 years. Many of the inequalities that facilitated the spread of the AIDS pandemicare getting worse and continue to dispel the spread of HIV in many parts of the world. 

Kenya has witnessed tremendous progress over the last decade in reducing the annual number of new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths, resulting in improved quality of life for people living with HIV and reduced risk of infection. Kenya’s HIV prevalence is 6% with significant gender and geographical diversity ranging from 0.2% to 27.1% across different counties, and 1.6 million of over 40 million Kenyans are living with HIV. Strategic priorities and actions need to be implemented by global, regional, country, and community partners to get on track to end AIDS. 

As confirmed by WHO (World Health Organization), Cuba is officially the first country to eliminate mother to child transmission of HIV (MTCT) attributed to women having early access to antenatal services, both women and their partners testing for HIV, woman and their baby’s accessing treatment. A clear win for them in my opinion. Some other countries that have their HIV Response in order are Mozambique, Angola, South Africa, China, and Zambia, etc. Therefore, we know how to end AIDS, and the Strategy to get us there is vivid.

Despite the successes, AIDS remains a pressing global crisis. The world did not reach the 2020 Fast-Track prevention and treatment targets committed to in the 2015 UNAIDS, but there is Hope. 40 years of experience in the HIV response has provided evidence of what works and what does not. 

Total Control of the Epidemic (TCE) is a revolutionary disease education and prevention program that sees every individual as an essential building block in turning the tide against HIV/AIDS, TB, or malaria. Millions of people living with HIV now enjoy long and healthy lives and the number of new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths are on the decline. Globally, of the 38 million people living with HIV, 26 million were accessing life-saving antiretroviral therapy (ART) as of June 2020. 

At some point HIV drugs were stuck at the Mombasa port over disputing thoughts over who is to cater for distribution, which meant that People Living with HIV (PLHIV) had to wait to get their required doses. This is very unfair because they are highly dependent on them to an extent that it may mean life or death for some. Their resilience has shown through the adversities of life, especially in this country, the shortage of drugs and the stigma they go through every day is important to notice and assist, to curb the stigmatization they go through on a daily that none of us are even in the slightest, aware is happening and wait for dramatic stories to crop up and that’s when people are triggered enough to start having critical conversations that should have been had ages ago and solutions achieved.

Therefore, by recognizing and combining efforts to support PLHIV, they will feel humanized which is exactly what The Global AIDS Strategy aims to achieve. It aims to reduce these inequalities that drive the AIDS epidemic and prioritize people who are not yet accessing life-saving HIV services as they should and is within their right to do so. Globalsolidarity and community resilience will save millions of lives and manymore lives. Now all we need to do is properly implement them.

Written by: Patrick Mbugua


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