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.


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 together 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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