HIV service availability first and foremost leads to reduced transmission and death rates but also substantially reduced health care expenses. Globally 6.1 million people who are aware of their HIV positive status are not being treated. Therefore, the immune system of 6.1 million people gets weaker day by day. HIV-associated health services don’t stop with the provision of adequate HIV medication. The availability of education, contraception as well as social care plays a role that cannot be dismissed in its importance. We need to find the gaps and inequalities and reach the ones who are left behind to ensure the availability of all possible health services to not only take up treatment but to guarantee long term therapy maintenance.
During AIDS 2022 conference, we met up with Dr. Joe Phaahla, Minister of Health South Africa, for an exchange about our programs and our joint efforts to solve the issue of condom availability. As long-standing partners, we use every opportunity for exchange to advance our programmes and joint activities in the country. Together, we want to revitalise the youth prevention campaign in the country. The main focus is on the supply of condoms and the transfer of knowledge about contraceptive methods. Only together can we ensure that contraceptives and the knowledge about them are not only theoretically available, but also accessible and used.
Giving youth a voice in global conferences and discussing on eye level with leaders like Minister Dr. Phaahla are vital to create a common understanding of the issues on the ground and developement of solutions towards ending the epidemic.
A basic level of knowledge about HIV and available health services is essential for protecting ourselves and others from HIV infections, but a growing percentage of young people are unaware of the sexual health services available to them. Globally, 6,1 Million people living with HIV do not receive treatment and many young people do not have free access to condoms. When awareness is low, people are less likely to get tested, and sexual partners are at a higher risk of infecting one another. We need to find the gaps and inequalities and reach the ones who are left behind to ensure the availability of all possible health services to not only take up treatment but to guarantee long term therapy maintenance.
Investments must be precisely tailored to the specific needs of a region to reach their full potential.
11.8% of participants in our study mentioned that they did not know where to go when seeking sexual health services. (First results from evaluation of data from Germany)
We know how to preventHIV infections.
Yet the world registered 1.5 million new infections in 2020.
We know how to treat HIV/AIDS.
Yet more than 10 million people living with HIV are not accessing treatment.
Our new report "Epidemic of the mind" examines the complex social and cultural factors driving the HIV epidemic today - and how to address them:
The tools and knowledge to prevent new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths are already available. Now, it is time to fight the epidemic of the mind.
Learn more and pre-order the report on updateHIV.com