New York/Paris 20 July 2017 — Responding to the UNAIDS report which claims ‘a tipping point in the fight against AIDS’ Sharonann Lynch, HIV and TB Advisor for Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders Access to Medicines Campaign says:
“While it is good news that so many are now on HIV treatment, one million deaths is still too many. There is still an AIDS crisis and it is gravely concerning that international assistance for HIV and AIDS is now being withdrawn under the wrong assumption that the battle has been won.
“So many of these deaths are preventable. People with HIV are still developing AIDS who go on to develop tuberculosis and opportunistic infections such as cryptococcal meningitis. UNAIDS data shows that one in three people with HIV only start antiretroviral treatment after they had already developed AIDS. This makes it more likely their overall outcome will be worse.
What’s more, people with HIV often don’t get the care they need for these opportunistic infections, when they need it.
“The global HIV response must scale-up antiretroviral treatment to more people sooner. With more people on treatment, it is critical that sufficient resources are available to prevent and address AIDS-related diseases which remain difficult and costly to treat with the current means available.”