Deborah Birx, a member of President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR), told the 23rd International AIDS conference that despite the Covid-19 pandemic, they have continued to achieve most of their HIV sustainable development goals set for 2020.
Systemic racism has left people of colour exposed and unprotected against global health threats such as HIV for decades. These inequities are magnified by the disparity seen in Covid-19 health outcomes.
The World Health Organization and UNAIDS has warned that if efforts are not made to mitigate health services and supply interruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic,the disruption of antiretroviral therapy could cause 500 000 more deaths in sub-Saharan Africa in 2020–2021.
“In the face of a seemingly hopeless scientific and humanitarian challenge, scientists and activists joined together to accelerate the development of breakthrough treatment and biomedical prevention tools,” reads the 23rd International Aids Conference website.
“Communities are important – as some of great ideas might not generally come from the top, but they can come from the bottom,” says Gregorio Millett of the American Foundation for Aids Research.