Status: 08.09.2021 07:50 a.m.
The corona pandemic has made the fight against AIDS and tuberculosis massively difficult, according to the Global Fund, which is fighting epidemics in more than a hundred countries. The number of HIV tests has decreased by 22 percent.
The corona pandemic is having a catastrophic impact on the fight against other deadly diseases. This was reported by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Geneva. Tuberculosis and AIDS patients are particularly affected – the number of treatments and tests for both diseases has fallen significantly as a result of the pandemic.
“The impact of Covid-19 on the fight against HIV, tuberculosis and malaria and on the communities we support has been devastating,” said the Fund’s Executive Director Peter Sands when presenting a report on the work of the international organization last year .
Prevention programs reach fewer people
The number of people who were reached with AIDS prevention programs had decreased by eleven percent compared to 2019. The number of HIV tests has decreased by 22 percent, which has delayed the start of treatment in most countries. Despite the pandemic, however, the number of people receiving life-saving antiretroviral HIV therapy in 2020 rose by 8.8 percent.
According to the report, in 2020 the number of people treated for drug-resistant tuberculosis fell 19 percent in the countries the fund invests in.
Malaria tests also declined
The fight against malaria was not as badly affected by Covid-19, it said. The number of suspected malaria cases tested has decreased, but less than in the case of HIV, namely by 4.3 percent.
The fund, founded in 2002 and previously approved by the G8, has set itself the task of ending the three epidemics. To this end, he invests several billion euros in more than a hundred countries every year. Most of the money comes from governments, but also from the private sector and foundations.
According to the fund, it has saved around 44 million lives since it was founded and has cut the number of deaths from AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in the countries in which it invests by almost half.