According to UNAIDS, the pace of reducing new HIV infections, increasing access to treatment and ending AIDS-related deaths is slowing down. File Picture.

Durban - The 2019 Global AIDS Update was officially launched in Eshowe, north of Durban, on Tuesday.

The report contained the latest data on the progress and challenges in the AIDS response and highlighted the impact that community programmes have had in expanding access to treatment, support adherence and preventing new HIV infections.

According to UNAIDS, the pace of reducing new HIV infections, increasing access to treatment and ending AIDS-related deaths is slowing down. 

The report notes that while some countries are making impressive gains others are experiencing rises in new HIV infections and related deaths.

UNAIDS Executive Director, Gunilla Carlsson, called for an increase in political leadership to end AIDS.

"This starts with investing adequately and smartly and by looking at what's making some countries successful. Ending AIDS is possible if we focus on people not diseases. We need to create roadmaps for the people and locations that are left behind. We also need to take a human rights-based approach to reaching people most affected by HIV," she said.

The report also notes that less than 50 percent of key populations  were reached with combination HIV prevention services in more that half of the countries that reported.

This, Carlsson said, highlighted that key populations were still being marginalised and being left behind in the response to HIV.

The Mercury