#AIDS2016 Conference with Kaya News’ Nomsa Zwane – Day 3
I honestly don’t know if we will achieve the goal of having an HIV free generation by 2030 as set out by the World Health Organisation. It’s possible but at our current phase of response to the virus, more especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, I doubt it will be that soon.
Of all the sessions and discussions we had since the beginning of the conference around testing treatment and finding cure, the issue of inequity in the global response to the virus shocked me.
You’d be alarmed at the amount of people who die of AIDS simply because they are in poor communities.
People in Sub-Saharan countries are six to ten times more likely to die of AIDS when their immune systems are comprised than those in wealthy countries.
A resent REALITY study has found that patients in poor communities are malnourished and at high risk of TB and other AIDS related infections.
Experts at the conference say that while the scale-up of antiretroviral therapy around the world is exciting, there was “an important difference in outcomes for patients on ART in resource-rich versus resource-limited countries. So HIV does have social class?
Hopefully the introduction of a combination of other prevention drugs will make a difference. The five drugs if taken at the same time as ARVs can reduce deaths in sick AIDS patients by a quarter.
Just when we thought we were getting somewhere with the introduction of the single-tablet regimens, now people have to take five additional prophylactic drugs to prevent other infections. It never ends. The struggle is indeed real.