HIV-positive patients in Libya struggle for care amid Covid-19 pandemic

Joanna Estrada
December 1, 2020

On December 1, U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Stephanie S. Sullivan delivered remarks during the virtual World AIDS Day 2020 Forum hosted by the Ghana AIDS Commission. Conditions for those living with HIV and treatment vary wildly around the world.

Moeti said girls and women aged 15 years and 24 years accounted for 37 per cent of all new HIV infections, and stigma and discrimination especially against key populations continue to create barriers to service access. It set triple 90s targets years ago - that by 2020, 90 percent of people living with HIV know their HIV status, 90 percent who know their status are receiving treatment, and 90 percent on HIV treatment have a suppressed viral load.

He expressed gratitude to the global community for continuing to honour their pledges in support of response to HIV even in the face of challenges in their own countries.

Zimbabwe has made commendable progress in reversing the course of the AIDS pandemic through prevention of new HIV infections and the provision of treatment to those infected despite economic challenges being faced by the country.

"I am also happy to inform you that 97 percent of people living with HIV are now on lifelong anti-retroviral therapy (ART) which is quite an improvement from the previous 88,4 percent".

Deputy President David Mabuza said that great strides had been made in meeting the first target of ensuring people knew their HIV status and now 92% of people living with the virus knew their status.

In its message for World Aids Day 2020, the United Nations called for global solidarity and warned that in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, the world can not afford to make the same mistakes it made in the fight against HIV, when millions in developing countries died waiting for treatment.

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UN urges 'global solidarity, shared responsibility' against pandemics, marking World AIDS Day - World

"We have seen how important it is for world to come together with determined leadership from governments and communities to sustain and expand access to essential services, including HIV prevention, testing, treatment and care".

"The pandemic is making it even more challenging for countries to provide these services, particularly in areas affected by conflicts, disasters, outbreaks and rapid population growth".

For the world to be back on track to ending AIDS by 2030, as part of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs), UNAIDS called on countries to make far greater investments in global pandemic responses and adopt a new set of bold, ambitious but achievable HIV targets.

"Our goal of ending the AIDS epidemic was already off track before COVID-19". That is why UNAIDS has been a leading advocate for a People's Vaccine against the coronavirus.

He said Government had embarked on a process of restructuring the Ministry of Health and Child Care to make it more responsive to modern national health challenges at all levels including addressing the emerging non communicable diseases.

Romero allied with social workers, adherence counsellors from the Ministry of Health, Peer Navigators, NAC District Committees and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to conduct a Needs Assessment of People Living with HIV, which found that many of these desperately needed food items to remain adherent to their medication.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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