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The fight against HIV requires community support, says UNAIDS

The annual report of the UN agency highlights the progress made but also the obstacles still to be overcome in the face of HIV infection, which affected 1.7 million people in 2018.

 The fight against HIV requires community support, says UNAIDS

It was not the nostalgia of the 1970s and John Lennon, who had made it the title of one of his songs, that pushed UNAIDS to name its annual report "Power To The People". Published Tuesday, November 26, days before the World Day against AIDS 1 st December, the paper shows how the ability to choose, to know, to have access to education, to participate in decisions and work together is a factor of change. In 2018, 1.7 million people worldwide were infected with HIV (1.8 million in 2017) and 770,000 deaths related to this virus occurred (against 940,000 in 2017).

"The struggle ... continues to be inextricably linked to the struggle to end human rights violations, including discrimination and violence against women and girls and the marginalization and criminalization of key populations - sex workers, drug users, men who have sex with men, transgender people, and prisoners, notes in the preface to the report Winnie Byanyima, the new executive director of UNAIDS . In 2018, more than half of all new infections affected key populations. ". And the former Oxfam leader recalled that in the world in 2018, "Every week, 6,000 teenage girls and young women have been infected with HIV. "

The task is still immense, even if the changes that have occurred, especially during the last decade, are notable. Of the nearly 38 million people living with HIV, 79% knew their HIV status and 23.3 million (62%) had access to antiretroviral therapy, an increase of 7.7%. millions of individuals compared to 2010. But behind the global data appear the inequalities in the HIV of different population groups mentioned by Winnie Byanyima.

In sub-Saharan Africa, infections among adolescents between the ages of 15 and 19 are four times out of five among girls, and young women aged 15 to 24 are twice as likely to live with HIV as men of the same age. While they account for 54% of new HIV infections worldwide, the different key populations represent more than 95% of those in Eastern Europe and Central Asia and 95% in the Middle East and North Africa.