The fight against the coronavirus pandemic should also spur global efforts to defeat HIV and AIDS – this is what Winnie Byanyima, head of the United Nations Program on AIDS, is calling for. “The Covid pandemic has shown politicians how vulnerable we are all, how economic life can be halted, and how people are dying,” Byanyima said. “We must now develop a new dynamic in the fight against AIDS.”
Byanyima is the Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS. The United Nations wanted to present a report Thursday showing that more efforts are needed to achieve the stated goal of defeating the HIV pandemic by 2030.
“We have demonstrated (in the coronavirus pandemic) that science can produce solutions in no time, and we have demonstrated that governments can mobilize resources,” Byanyima said. So she is cautiously optimistic that it will also be possible to end the HIV pandemic.
It’s been 40 years since the CDC first reported the then-mysterious immunodeficiency disease (June 5, 1981). Next week, the United Nations wants to launch a new call for donations at the AIDS Summit in New York. In the past 40 years, nearly 35 million people have died from complications from AIDS. “Each of these lives matters, just like the lives we lost due to the Covid infection,” Byanyima said. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 3.6 million people have died so far as a result of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which was discovered at the end of 2019.