Coronavirus and HIV: the impact of COVID-19
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 38 million people live with HIV worldwide. And around 33% (12.6 million) are unable to access HIV treatment to keep them healthy.
At the moment, no research is available on the impact of coronavirus on people living with HIV. However, people with HIV who are unable to access treatment may be more severely affected and require more intensive treatment.
Like HIV and AIDS, coronavirus has a greater impact on people who are already marginalised. As a result, we are concerned as the pandemic spreads to 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 – will feel the effects of coronavirus more acutely.
Recent modelling by UNAIDS and the World Health Organization has predicted that there could be 500,000 extra AIDS-related deaths in sub-Saharan Africa in 2020-2021 if the COVID-19 crisis leads to a six-month disruption in vital supplies of antiretroviral medication.
Lessons from the HIV epidemic
Across 37 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 already 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.
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 monthly round-up of news and updates relating to the coronavirus impact on HIV, please sign up to our newsletter: Frontline Insights.
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