Following this morning's launch of UNAIDS' Gap report on the state of the HIV epidemic, including access to antiretroviral therapy (ART), Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) responds to the news that at the end of 2013, nearly 13 million people living with HIV were on ART, including almost 12 million in the developing world, an increase of more than 20% from the end of 2012.
In sub-Saharan Africa, the majority of countries (27 out of 44 in the UNAIDS report) have less than 40% adult ART coverage. According to UNAIDS, of those that are receiving ART in sub-Saharan Africa, 76% have achieved viral suppression.
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) response to the news:
“Providing life-saving HIV treatment to nearly 12 million people in the developing world is a significant achievement, but more than half of people in need still do not have access.
We want to see treatment scale-up as quickly as possible in order to help as many people as possible suppress the virus. We call for governments and donors to commit to ensuring 80% of people in need of antiretroviral treatment will have access to it and can maintain an ‘undetectable’ viral load.
We need to make sure no one is left behind – and yet, in many of the countries where MSF works we’re seeing low rates of treatment coverage, especially in areas of low HIV prevalence and areas of conflict. In some countries, people are being started on treatment too late to save their lives, and pregnant women aren’t getting the early support they need.
We know that early treatment helps prevent transmission of HIV and keeps people healthy; we need to respond to HIV in all contexts and make treatment accessible to everyone in need as soon as possible.”
- Dr Jennifer Cohn, Medical Director, Médecins Sans Frontières Access Campaign.