News
 International
 National
 Embassy News
 Arts & Living
 Business
 Travel & Hotel
 Medical Tourism New
 Taekwondo
 Media
 Letters to Editor
 Photo Gallery
 News Media Link
 TV Schedule Link
 News English
 Life
 Hospitals & Clinics
 Flea Market
 Moving & Packaging
 Religious Service
 Korean Classes
 Korean Weather
 Housing
 Real Estate
 Home Stay
 Room Mate
 Job
 English Teaching
 Translation/Writing
 Job Offered/Wanted
 Business
 Hotel Lounge
 Foreign Exchanges
 Korean Stock
 Business Center
 PR & Ads
 Entertainment
 Arts & Performances
 Restaurants & Bars
 Tour & Travel
 Shopping Guide
 Community
 Foreign Missions
 Community Groups
 PenPal/Friendship
 Volunteers
 Foreign Workers
 Useful Services
 ST Banner Exchange
  Medical Tourism
When People with HIV Can Live Normal Lives Then Why 680,000 AIDS Deaths in 2020?
By Bobby Ramakant
Asia Correspondent
HIV patient in Africa
A person holding an object Description automatically generated with medium confidenceWhen we know how to prevent HIV transmission, and how to keep every person living with HIV healthy, then how can one fathom deaths of at least 680,000 people due to AIDS-related illnesses in 2020 worldwide? And how can one explain, at least 1.5 million new HIV infections occurring globally in 2020?

"Every new HIV infection is a reality check and grim reminder that we are failing on prevention - we could have done better. Every death due to AIDS-related illness, is not only unfortunate but a deeply disturbing setback, because we know how a person living with HIV can stay healthy, and live a fulfilling normal life. No one has to die of AIDS - only if we can convert scientific gains, words and promises into public health actions on the ground - fast enough and as best as we can" rightly said CNS founding Executive Director and feminist human rights advocate Shobha Shukla.

109 months left to end AIDS by 2030

All nations globally have promised to end AIDS by 2030 (109 months left to meet this target) as per the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and domestic commitments. But we do not have to wait till 2030 because we can make #endAIDS a reality in lives of people living with HIV - TODAY.

Lifesaving antiretroviral therapy (ART) and viral load suppression, along with the whole cascade of HIV care and support, keeps them healthy and away from AIDS-related illnesses. Likewise, we can do so much better to break the chain of transmission of HIV. Treatment as prevention - works - along with whole cascade of HIV combination prevention options. Inaction is not a choice because price of inaction is unacceptable: new infections and untimely deaths to name a few.

"Thanks to scientific research and strong evidence that has given us tools to effectively prevent transmission of HIV, diagnose HIV, treat people living with HIV. That is why it is possible for people living with HIV who can live fulfilling normal lives and manage co-morbidities as well as co-infections. But we have not satisfactorily leveraged this knowledge into action. That is why in 2020, when the world was reeling through the Covid-19 pandemic, 1.5 million people were newly infected with HIV, and 680,000 people died of AIDS-related illnesses globally" added Dr Ishwar Gilada, who is on the Governing Council of International AIDS Society (IAS).

Since most nations could not meet 2020 AIDS targets, now the eyes are set on 2030 goalpost of 95-95-95 targets (95% of people living with HIV to know their status, 95% of them should be on ART, and 95% of these be virally suppressed).

"Grappling with Covid-19 pandemic for almost two years, the other crucial health issues like HIV, tuberculosis, other infectious diseases similarly other non-infectious health emergencies and exigencies got neglected in India and elsewhere. That resulted in non-achievement of WHO target 90-90-90 by 2020; which was set for 90% of people with HIV should know their status, 90% of HIV infected people who know their status should be put on antiretroviral therapy (ART) and 90% of those on ART should have their HIV-viral loads suppressed" said Dr Ishwar Gilada, who is also the President of AIDS Society of India (ASI), and among the first doctors to begin HIV medical management and care when first case got diagnosed in the country 35 years back.

Failure to end HIV-discrimination punctures the gains made in fighting AIDS

India has made a commendable progress since 7 April 2004 when it began the rollout of lifesaving antiretroviral therapy (ART) for people living with HIV, but formidable challenges remain. India along with other nations worldwide missed meeting the target of zero discrimination by 2020. Zero discrimination milestone now has been shifted to 2030, albeit with a caveat, "less than 10% discrimination by 2030".

India has a golden opportunity to end HIV-related discrimination by fully implementing the HIV/AIDS (prevention and control) Act 2017. Groups such as the AIDS Society of India (ASI) worked hard to call for the law for ending all forms of HIV-related stigma and discrimination. Now ASI is calling for ensuring that all social security measures which are part of our legal framework must be guaranteed to every person living with HIV so that progress towards HIV care and support be fully galvanized, and also to prevent the Act being termed as a ‘toothless Act’.

Dr Ishwar Gilada said "Even four years after the HIV/AIDS Act 2017 is in place, there are no appointments of state Ombudsman; which is a mandatory provision in the Act. We yet to see a single prosecution under the provisions of this Act and it no way connotes those violations have not happened. In fact there is an urgent need to create awareness about existence of the Act and its provisions. People living with HIV are denied 'mediclaim' policies, as such policies still mention HIV in exclusion criteria. Life Insurances have still provision to not allow people living with HIV to take policies for insured sum more than INR 10 lacs (INR 1 million). Despite ASI approaching the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) and it agreeing to the issues raised by ASI, there is no headway."

Another example of inaction comes from laws for the welfare of communities who are among those most-at-risk of HIV. Despite the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act 2019, the transgender community continues to face denial and rejection in areas such as employment, health, and public services.

"Without bold action against inequalities, India as well as other countries in the world risks missing the targets to end AIDS by 2030, as well as a prolonged Covid-19 pandemic and a spiraling social and economic crisis if we do not share the fruits of research and developments by way of supplying Covid-19 vaccines to Low and Middle-income countries" emphasized Dr Ishwar Gilada.

Forty years since the first AIDS cases were reported in the world, and 35 years since first case was reported in India, HIV still threatens us. Today, the world is off track from delivering on the shared commitment to end AIDS by 2030 not because of a lack of knowledge or tools to beat AIDS, but because of structural inequalities that obstruct proven solutions to HIV prevention and treatment.

Economic, social, cultural and legal inequalities must be ended as a matter of urgency if we are to end AIDS by 2030. But ending inequalities requires transformative change. Political, economic and social policies need to protect the rights of everyone and pay attention to the needs of disadvantaged and marginalized communities.

Dr Ishwar Gilada stressed that "We know how to beat AIDS, we know what the inequalities obstructing progress are and we know how to tackle them. The policies to address inequalities can be implemented, but they require leaders to be bold and not cold!"



Related Articles
    UK's Decision to Consider Vaccinated Indians ...
    Step Up Pace Globally If Universal Vaccination ...
    Will Inclusion and Accountability Take ...
    Were People the Missing Link in Covid Response?
    World Localization Day: Peasants Rise Up to ...
    Save Lakshadweep: Stop 'Reform' Which Is Not ...
    Tobacco-Caused Diseases Are a Bane to the ...
    Do It Right the First Time, Every Time!
    Keeping Workforce Healthy Is Also a Smart ...
    Should Asia Pacific Lead World with Robust ...
    Will Post-2015 Development Agenda Integrate ...
    Nepal Leading Tobacco Control in S. Asia: Will ...
    Regular HIV Prevention Counselling Reduces ...
    Strong Tobacco Taxation Policy Adopted despite ...
    Biggest Killer of Kids Under 5 Is Pneumonia
    Scaling Up Natural Fertility Awareness Methods ...
    Should Asthma Control Us or We Control Asthma?
    Coordinated Approach Needed to Overcome ...
    Lung Health Needs Attention
    Should Tuberculosis (TB)-Preventive Therapy ...
    Responding to TB, HIV, COPD and Tobacco ...
    "Good Health Is India's Basic Need": Easier ...
    Int'l Day Against Drug Abuse, Illicit ...
    World Now in Early Days of 2009 Influenza ...
    One-Third Preventable Deaths Can Be Averted by ...
    Politics: Allocation of Resources
    If G20 Agrees, Health Financing Might Come ...
    Neglect of Tuberculosis Control among ...
    Is It Ethical to Provide TB Treatment without ...
    Youth against Cross-border Tobacco Advertising ...
    Vitamin A Supplements Reduces Child Mortality ...
    Mayawati Ji, Why Did We Get Bulldozers Instead ...
    How Will the World Begin to See TB Care as a ...
    Will recession impede TB care and control?
    Kala Azar Patients Lack Adequate Diagnosis and ...
    Further Dilution of Pictorial Tobacco Warnings ...
    Village Community Radio Will Give Voice to ...
    Citizens of India-Pakistan Stand Up for Peace
    Another Blow to Enforcement of Tobacco Control ...
    Addressing HIV and IDU Issues Vital for TB ...
    Effective Tobacco Control Policies in Nepal ...
    Countries Unite against Tobacco Industry Abuse
    India Agrees That Tobacco Industry Puts ...
    National Partnership for TB Care and Control ...
    Need to Refrain from Communal Politics in India
    India Embraces Smoke-free Policies on ...
    3rd Global Tobacco Treaty Action Guide 2008 ...
    Uphold Public Health over Corporate Interests
    Bringing Diabetes to Light
    Andhra Pradesh Should Gear Up to Enforce ...
    Pictorial Warnings on Tobacco Products in ...
    HDN and the International HIV/AIDS Alliance ...
    'We Reject Indo-US Nuclear Deal' Campaign ...
    Help Aamir Khan to Keep Promises and Quit ...
    Indian Court Serves Notice to Amitabh Bachchan ...
    NAPM Opposes the Indo-US Nuclear Deal
    Overcoming State Suppression, Prof. Agarwal ...
    10-Day Fast in Support of Dr. Binayak Sen ...
    Will South Korea Reaffirm Commitment to TB/HIV ...
    Activists to Fast for 10 Days Demanding ...
    Enforce Existing Tobacco Control Legislations ...
    Scaling Up of MPOWER Tobacco Control ...
    Kanpur Land-Sharks Intimidate RTI Activist by ...
    'You Can Control Your Asthma': Dr. Nils Billo
    Will Indian Government Arrest Those Who ...
    Asthma Control Is Appalling in Most Countries
    After 1.5 Years, Right-to-Information Act ...
    Democracy Weeps in Nandigram: NHRC and NCW ...
    Enforcement of Tobacco Ban in Prisons Uphill ...
    Displaced People in India Announce a Massive ...
    Climate Change Has Implications on Public ...
    Who Will Pay US$ 80 Billion to Halve the No. ...
    Can South Korea Stop Drug-resistant TB Too?
    Rising Tobacco Use among Women
    Japan's Obstructionist Position on Illicit ...
    Smoking in Indian Movies Gets Challenged
    'The Padyatra' Linking the Land-rights, ...
    Journalist Reporting on Under-represented ...
    Diabetes Wake-up Call after Years of Neglect ...
    Stop Dow Recruitment in IIT Chennai
    Round-the-clock Burma Vigil in Parliament ...
    Burma Unifies People's Voices in North-East ...
    Mounting Public Pessure against Dams in ...
    Will Independent Commission Increase Judicial ...
    India Ranks 72 in 180 Nations on Corruption ...
    Strengthen Health Systems to Control Dengue: ...
    Young Professionals in US Bring Agri-issues ...
    Mayawati Government to Expedite Justice in ...
    Court Reprimands MP Government for Arresting ...
    News of Three Deaths at IIT Kanpur Confirmed
    Anti-AFSPA Protestors Demand "Free Burma and ...
    Fate of 25,000 Families Hinge on Sept. 20 NCA ...
    IHP Launched to Strengthen Health Systems
    India's Under-nutrition Levels among Highest
    After 20 Years, RTI Is Another Blow to ...
    Public Pressure Mounts against Arrest of ...
    Dhaka Univ. Faculty, Students Beaten Up, ...
    Tobacco Industry Succeeds in Diluting Indian ...
    Activists Oppose the Indo-US Nuclear Deal
    Women Farmers Fast against Reliance ...
    Pepsi to Print 'Public Water Source' on Labels
    Youth Appeal to UN to Prioritise Health
    UN Mid-Point Progress Report on Development ...
    148 Nations Meet as Parties to Global Tobacco ...
    Alert to Protect Global Tobacco Treaty before ...
    Patil in for President's Race Not Only because ...
    Hashimpura Survivors Find Hope in RTI Act
    Hyderabad Blast: Wake Up Call for Secular India
    Health Ministry Alert on Iron-Deficiency ...
    Medical Students Need to Quit Tobacco First
    Integrate Tobacco Cessation in Healthcare ...
    1st Time Indians Get 2007 Human Rights Prize
    Responding to Diverse HIV Healthcare Needs
    Why Should S. Korea Enforce Tobacco Treaty?
    34 Cases of Avian Influenza Found in Egypt
    With Inadequate Cessation Services, What Will ...
    Another Death of Pregnant Woman with HIV Is ...
    Don't Forget The Rise in Violence Against ...
    A Ray of Hope for Medical University Teaching
    Alarm Bells Sound in Nandigram for Indian ...
    Activists Challenge Corporate Control of Water ...
    Vietnam's TB Programs Face New Challenges
    Neglect of Hepatitis C Leaves People with HIV ...
    Tobacco Industries Disregard Nepal's ...
    Link between Tobacco Use and Films
    Integration of TB and HIV Services Urgently ...
    More of the Same Will Brew Drug Resistance
    Is a Priority, Says Indian President Kalam
    Head Injuries Soar Unabatedly: Prof. Rama Kant
    Groundwater Belongs to People, Not to Firms
    Tobacco Shown in Movies Influences Children
    Water Is a Fundamental Human Right
    Global Tobacco Treaty Should Be Implemented
    Founder of Surgical Oncology in India Dies
    HIV Prevention Must Address Women' Needs
    Staying Alive with HIV

Other Articles by Bobby Ramakant
     UK's Decision to Consider Vaccinated Indians ...
     Step Up Pace Globally If Universal ...
     Will Inclusion and Accountability Take ...
     Were People the Missing Link in Covid ...
     World Localization Day: Peasants Rise Up to ...


Bobby Ramakant, who serves as The Seoul Times' Asia correspondent, is a member of NATT, Network for Accountability of Tobacco Transnationals, and edits Weekly MONiTOR series, reporting violations of tobacco control policies as a senior public health and development journalist. He writes for newspapers in 11 countries. He is the recepient of World Health Organization (WHO)'s Award for the year 2008. He can be reached at bobbyramakant@yahoo.com

 

back

 

 

 

The Seoul Times Shinheungro 25-gil 2-6 Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea 04337 (ZC)
Office: 82-10-6606-6188 Email:seoultimes@gmail.com
Copyrights 2000 The Seoul Times Company  ST Banner Exchange