The world has promised to end AIDS by 2030. We are off track. To end AIDS, we must end the inequalities that are blocking progress. Today, we risk millions new infections and millions more deaths.
So, on this World AIDS Day, we are calling out in one voice. Equalize! The “Equalize” slogan is a call to action. A call to adopt the proven practical actions that will help end AIDS. More availability, quality and suitability of services for HIV treatment, testing and prevention.
That means more financial resources. Better laws, policies and practices to tackle the stigma and exclusion faced by people living with HIV, especially marginalized populations. Everyone needs respect and to be welcomed. And better sharing of technology to enable equal access to the best HIV science, especially between the global South and North.
As per global estimates in 2021, 3.84 Crore people were affected with HIV. In India this number approximates to 24 Lakh people are living with HIV. Highest number of cases observed in Maharashtra which is approximately 3.96 Lakh followed by Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. New HIV infection rate have been reduced by 46% in India since peak in 1998-2000 while AIDS related death rate have been declined by 76% since 2010.
According to the Namibian Integrated Biological Behavioral Surveillance Survey (IBBS) 2019 report, HIV prevalence was estimated at 21.3% among Female Sex Workers (FSW) and 20.9% among Men who have Sex with other Men (MSM). Evidence from key and vulnerable populations interventions undertaken in 2021-2022 shows that a considerable number of individuals within those population clusters fear and experience stigma and discrimination from their communities and health facilities, thus resulting in their avoidance to seek health services. Although efforts from the government and partners have been made to ensure that HIV services reach all people, including key and vulnerable populations, realities related to inequalities, stigma, and discrimination often create barriers for all individuals to access the available HIV services.
Together, the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) and the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India, are doing admirable work for HIV testing, counseling, and treatment in art centers, and they have a strategic plan to reach the End AIDS target by 2030.
Dr. Revuri Harikrishna, the author, established Dhruthi Hospitals, one of the top general hospitals in Guntur, which offers the best general medicine in Guntur City with patient welfare and quick recovery as its core values. He is a renowned doctor with a wealth of knowledge spanning 10 to 15 years. He is also capable of determining the root causes of patient issues. He is a doctor with extraordinary compassion who is accessible to patients around-the-clock.