Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on the fight against AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis

 In its annual report released today, the Global Fund deplores an unprecedented setback in the fight against AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. According to experts, the Covid-19 has had a devastating impact, slowing down the treatment, screening and prevention of these three diseases.

Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on the fight against AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis



First decline in indicators in the history of the Global Fund

Created in 2002, the Global Fund is an original partnership between States, civil society, the private sector and patients, which fights against AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. Since its creation, the Global Fund has claimed 44 million lives saved. Indeed, the number of deaths attributable to AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria has been reduced by 46% in countries where the Global Fund invests. But for the first time, key program indicators recorded setbacks. This is what reveals the new report from the Global Fund, published this Wednesday, September 8, 2021, which explains how the Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the fight against HIV, tuberculosis and malaria in 2020.


The slowdown in treatment, screening and prevention

Specifically, the report states that the number of people treated for drug-resistant TB in countries where the Global Fund invests fell by 19% in 2020. Likewise, the number of people on treatment for extensively drug-resistant TB fell by 37% and the number of HIV-positive TB patients on antiretrovirals while on TB treatment fell by 16%.


Regarding the fight against HIV, the report indicates that although the number of positive people receiving antiretroviral treatment has continued to increase (9% in 2020), there has been a marked slowdown in testing services and HIV prevention among key and vulnerable populations. In fact, HIV prevention programs and services reached 11% fewer people and 12% fewer young people in 2020 than in 2019. The same goes for the number of HIV-positive mothers who received treatment to prevent transmission of HIV to their babies which fell by 4.5%. Overall, HIV testing has fallen by 22%, resulting in a decline in the initiation of antiretroviral therapy in most countries.


In contrast, the Global Fund report indicates that interventions targeting malaria have been the least affected by Covid-19. In 2020, 11.5 million pregnant women received preventive treatment. However, specialists note that the screening of suspected cases of malaria has nevertheless fallen by 4.3% and that progress in the fight against the disease has stagnated.

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