Britain intends to stop HIV transmission by 2030
Matt Hancock, the head of Ministry of Health and Welfare of UK, announced his intention to end HIV transmission in England by 2030. According to him, this can be achieved by improving and increasing the availability of prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
“We are all part of a global solution to this problem. What we do locally in London, Delhi, Nairobi, Maputo, Kiev, Atlanta and other cities has an impact on the whole world. Therefore, today we set a new goal: to eradicate the transmission of HIV in England by 2030. Over the next decade there will be no new infections ... ”.
This statement was made by the head of the British agency at the Global Aids Forum, organized by the Elton John Foundation (EJAF), Evening Standard and Independent.
“My generation grew up knowing that AIDS is a potential death sentence,” Hancock said. “This should no longer be the case.” Thanks to medical breakthroughs, public health campaigns, overcoming stigma and raising awareness, AIDS is no longer a death sentence. I am proud that Britain has made such progress. But when I think about what is happening elsewhere, I feel that victory over the virus is still very far away. ”
The work to achieve the stated goal will be supported by the British Innovation Foundation for HIV Prevention. The amount of funding will be 600 thousand pounds.
Funds allocated by the organization will be used to introduce 13 innovative schemes that can reduce the risk of infection and reduce stigma.
In addition, the Ministry of Health noted that a group of experts will be assembled to work out an optimal action plan. Prevention will take center stage in it. Other measures aimed primarily at vulnerable (key) groups of the population will also be included in the plan.
Innovative antiretroviral treatment, experts say, today allow people with HIV to lead a normal full life. However, despite the fact that in the UK every year more and more people receive life-saving treatment (since 2016 the number of new HIV cases has decreased by almost a third), the problem of combating the virus does not cease to be relevant.
Along with the provision of medicines, there are difficulties with diagnosis and a high level of discrimination.
In terms of testing, as well as treatment, a qualitative breakthrough has been made in recent years: only from 2013 to 2017, the number tested for HIV in Britain increased by 15%. This indicator cannot but inspire optimism: diagnostic coverage reduces the number of people with HIV who are not aware of their status and, therefore, potentially able to transmit the virus.
Another critical part of the work to eradicate HIV around the world will be the fight against stigma and discrimination.
The government has already announced that it has invested 1.2 billion pounds in the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
In addition, the Department of International Development also promised to allocate an additional up to 2 million pounds for the multimedia project "AIDSfree", implemented by the Independent newspaper in collaboration with the Elton John Foundation.
Penny Mordaunt, head of the international development department, emphasized:
“Although the world has made great strides in the fight against HIV and AIDS, we must step up our efforts. The battle is far from over, especially in poor countries, where stigma, information hunger and lack of life-saving medications persist. ”