what Coronavirus means FOR the global hiv response

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is a global health emergency. It represents a significant threat for people living with HIV and AIDS, and for the global HIV response.

Around 37.7 million people live with HIV worldwide. And around 27% (10.2 million) are unable to access HIV treatment to keep them healthy.

A report from the World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed that people living with HIV who contract COVID-19 are at increased risk of developing severe illness and dying from the coronavirus. There is mounting evidence that the risk of death from COVID-19 among people with HIV could be as much as twice that of the general population.

Like HIV and AIDS, coronavirus has a greater impact on people who are already marginalised. As a result, we are concerned for poorer countries and those with higher HIV rates. Above all, those most affected by HIV – adolescent girls and young women, LGBT people, sex workers and people who use drugs – are feeling the effects of coronavirus more acutely.

Lessons from the HIV epidemic

Across 100 countries, Frontline AIDS partners provide HIV prevention and treatment to some of the world’s most marginalised people and communities. Drawing on decades of experience, we are hard at work to ensure their needs are met throughout the pandemic.

So, we’re bringing three important lessons from the HIV epidemic to the coronavirus response:

  • The essential role of communities
  • Dignity and human rights for all
  • Ensuring new treatments and vaccinations for COVID-19 that become available are accessible to all of humanity from the outset.


COVID-19 has drawn attention away from other health priorities, and poses a serious threat to the HIV and TB responses. We need to all step up our advocacy to demand access to quality health services and protection of human rights.

In this hub we have gathered a pack of resources to guide and support you on COVID-19 advocacy.

Show me the hub

Stay up to date

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis continues to unfold, we will be regularly updating this page with relevant information and resources from Frontline AIDS and our partners. For a round-up of news and updates relating to the coronavirus impact on HIV, please sign up to our newsletter: Frontline Insights.

Your support will help our partners to continue and step-up their work during the coronavirus pandemic.

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