The Covid-19 epidemic, which has an impact all over the world, also negatively affects the fight against existing diseases. Dr. Anthony Fauci shared with the world how the epidemic weakened the fight against AIDS and the gravity of this situation, at the ceremony he attended for World AIDS Day on December 1st.
President of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, Dr. Anthony Fauci , at the World AIDS Day ceremony he attended, said that the Covid-19 pandemic has seriously hindered the global effort to reach the UN’s goal of ending AIDS by 2030, by Withholding scientific and financial resources used in the fight against AIDS.
Speaking at the UN General Assembly on the 40th anniversary of the first report that brought AIDS to the attention of the public, Fauci announced that the fight against Covid-19 has disrupted supply chains and increased the risk of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, to contract another deadly virus.
“To face these challenges, we must intensify our joint research efforts, filling gaps in supply chains through investments and regulatory action. We must also ensure that people with HIV in all countries have early access to effective COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, while ensuring supplies of anti-HIV drugs,” said Fauci. ,” said
THE PANDEMIC MAKES BOTH OUR STRENGTHS AND OUR WEAKNESSES VISIBLE
Fauci said that he was “as busy as possible” in responding to both the HIV/AIDS and Covid-19 pandemics, noting that the response to the two diseases revealed “they have achieved remarkable scientific advances and global collaboration that everyone can be proud of, especially in the delivery of life-saving AIDS drugs.” .
But Fauci acknowledged that diseases also reveal that “as a global society, we still struggle with very real health communication challenges linked to long-standing inequalities in access to health care and reduced trust in key institutions in some countries.”
AIDS RESEARCH WORKED TO FIGHT COVID, COVID RESEARCH CAN ALSO BE USED AGAINST AIDS
Saying that much of what scientists and public health experts have learned from their long investments in HIV/AIDS research has been “successfully applied to the Covid-19 pandemic,” Fauci said that what has been learned in Covid-19 can also be used against HIV/AIDS. Drawing attention to the potential impact on the design of drugs and the survival of monoclonal antibodies that can fight infections, he pointed out that being able to select the mRNA vaccines and the pool of active substances in vaccines will have great benefits.
COVID-19 SHOWED WHAT WE CAN ACHIEVE
Fauci said that COVID-19 has shown how quickly scientists and public health officials can respond to a pandemic when there are significant and sustainable financial investments and “Perhaps most importantly, when governments and the private sector work together” and provide incentives for production. He said the challenge now for scientists, funders and research supporters is “to apply these lessons to the fight against HIV/AIDS“.
WE MAY LOSE 7.7 MILLION PEOPLE IN THE NEXT 10 YEARS
UNAIDS, the UN agency leading the global effort to end the AIDS pandemic, concluded in a report on Monday that 1.5 million new HIV infections were recorded in 2020, with the rate of new HIV infections not falling fast enough to stop the epidemic globally. Warning that the world may face 7.7 million deaths due to AIDS in the next 10 years, UNAIDS called on leaders to tackle inequalities in access to medicine and treatment.
Pointing out that there has been a decrease in HIV tests due to Covid-19, UNAIDS stated that in 40 of the 50 countries surveyed, fewer people with HIV started treatment in 2020, and HIV prevention services were adversely affected.
Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of UNAIDS, told the General Assembly: “The progress in AIDS, already derailed before COVID-19, has come as the raging COVID crisis has disrupted HIV prevention and treatment services, prevention education, violence prevention programs and much more. He said it’s getting even more challenging now.
In June, the General Assembly overwhelmingly approved a declaration calling for urgent action to end AIDS by 2030. The Assembly’s 193 member states have committed to implement the 18-page document, which includes reducing new HIV infections annually to below 370,000 and keeping AIDS-related deaths below 250,000 by 2025. Describing the plan as “exciting”, Byanyima warned that “only by acting quickly to end the inequalities that fueled the pandemic can we overcome this.”