Turning The Tide In The Fight Against HIV/AIDS0
Approximately 36.7 million people worldwide are living with HIV/AIDS, according to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS, 2016). Of these, 2.1 million are children. In 2016, an estimated 1.8 million individuals became newly infected with HIV, which equates to 5,000 new infections per day.
Although there was a decline in the HIV death rate between 2000 and 2015, African regions still account for almost two-thirds of the global total of new HIV infections. Africa is home to 25.6 million people with HIV (WHO, 2016).
Zimbabwe is one of the African countries that continues to have a large amount of its population living with HIV, an estimated 13 million people. Due to access to antiretroviral treatment, the life expectancy in Zimbabwe has reached 61 years in 2015 compared to 41 years in 2003. In 2016, more than 49,000 deaths were averted comprising 393,000 prevented deaths since 2006.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) played a vital role in supporting countries most affected by the HIV epidemic by providing access to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria resources. Most recently US $502 million have been approved to support HIV, tuberculosis and malaria programmes in Zimbabwe during the next three years.
In Kenya, there are around 1.5 million people living with HIV, 400 000 of whom are unaware that they have the virus. In May 2017, the Government of Kenya has launched two innovative technologies to address low testing rates, especially among men, and bring end to the AIDS epidemic: self-testing for HIV and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), an antiretroviral medicine, to prevent HIV infection.
“With the launch, Kenya becomes the first country to undertake a national roll-out of HIV self-testing and the second in Africa to bring to scale pre-exposure prophylaxis for prevention of HIV infection for those at high risk.” – Jackson Kioko, Director Of Medical Services, Ministry Of Health, Kenya
UNAIDS is working to prevent new HIV infections and to ensure that by 2020, 90% of Kenyans living with HIV know their status and 90% of people who know their HIV-positive status are accessing treatment. By achieving these targets, Kenya will be able to end its AIDS epidemic by 2030.
While advances in medicine and technology are changing the course of life-threatening diseases such as HIV/AIDS in Africa, many people continue to face significant barriers to accessing healthcare services, including stigma, lack of awareness and funding. Public awareness campaigns and measures to improve testing rates and encourage treatment need to continue in order to prevent the disease spreading further. Ending HIV/AIDFS needs social not just medical breakthroughs and the governments must strengthen the healthcare systems and mechanisms to ensure that everyone has access to required health services and medicine.
Discover latest innovations and best practice in preventing and treating HIV/AIDS as well as other communicable diseases in East Africa at the 3rd annual Aid & Development Africa Summit. Organised by the Aid & International Development Forum (AIDF), the Summit will take place on 27-28 February 2018 in Nairobi.
Expert speakers will provide an update on regional health programmes and share ways to scale up HIV treatment and enable access to crucial health care services in the region. Confirmed speakers at the Aid & Development Africa Summit 2018 include:
- Matthias Boyen, UAV Focal Point – HIV/AIDS Support Project Officer, UNICEF
- Olawale Maiyegun, Director, Department of Social Affairs, African Union Commission
- Mamadou Biteye, Managing Director, The Rockefeller Foundation
- Amit Thakker, Chair, Kenya Healthcare Foundation
- Macharia Kamau, Ambassador & Permanent Representative, Kenya Mission to United Nations
- Raphael Obonyo, Africa’s Representative to the Global Coordination Board, World Bank Group
- Jim Nasr, Chief Software Architect, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Angela Githitho-Muriithi Country Director, Kenya, and Somalia, BBC Media Action
- Cynthia Mwase-Kasanda, Head, Africa and Middle East Department, The Global Fund
- Charles Gerhardt, International Project Manager, Regional Centre of Excellence for Vaccine, Immunisation and Health Supply Chain Management
- Michela Martini, Regional Migration Health Specialist for Horn, East and Southern Africa, International Organization for Migration (IOM)
- Job Akuno, Program Manager, Adolescent HIV & AIDS and SRH (EJAF), Elizabeth Glaser Paediatric AIDS Foundation
Register your participation while there are still places available. Click here to reserve your place.
For more information about Aid & Development Africa Summit, please visit http://africa.aidforum.org or contact Aline O’Keeffe, Head of Marketing, Aid & International Development Forum (AIDF) at firstname.lastname@example.org