Fear of stigmatization is part of the reasons homosexuals are getting increasingly infected.
The Deputy Executive Director, United Nation’s HIV/AIDS agency (UNAIDS), Luiz Loures, has warned that the Human Immuno-deficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome epidemic among men who have sex with men is “still out of control”; noting that this group of persons require special attention.
He emphasized that homosexual men are contracting the virus due to stigmatization against them and their not being legally protected.
“Homosexual men are getting AIDS because in many countries, they cannot come out, they cannot go to health centres, they cannot even buy a condom” he stated.
Mr. Loures said the shape of HIV epidemic had changed, noting that it is now concentrated in regional and population-specific hotspots. These spots, he added, could be found all over the world.
According to him, these zones are the sources of the increasing epidemic and which also requires special attention.
In the same vein, the UNAIDS’s 2013 Report on the global AIDS epidemic disclosed that fear of disapproval is a major obstacle preventing people from seeking medical help.
Reports and findings so far indicate that progress has been slow in securing HIV services for people most at risk of HIV infection, particularly homosexual men, sex workers, and people who inject drugs.
Notwithstanding the gloomy picture, the deputy executive director said the epidemic could be over by 2030. He described the 17 years interval as a “viable target”.
This is following new figures which indicate infection rates to have dropped by a third since 2001.
Compared with 12 years ago, there were 2.3million new HIV infections last year globally- a 33 per cent reduction. Data so far also stipulate new infections among children to have dropped by 52 per cent.
“I think that 2030 is a viable target to say that we have reached the end of the epidemic” Mr. Loures said.
He, however, noted that “HIV will continue existing as a case here or there but not at the epidemic level we have today. We can get to the end of the because we have treatments and ways to control the infection”.
The 2030 projection, reports show, is not unconnected with the United Nation’s ongoing target implementation set at exceeding its own goal of providing HIV treatment to 15 million people in low and middle income countries by 2015.
According to the UNAIDS 2013 report on the global AIDS epidemic, at the moment, nearly 10million people are already accessing life-saving antiretroviral therapy. This is a 20 per cent increase when compared with 2012.
Meanwhile, the United Kingdom on Monday pledged £1 billion to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and malaria. This is meant for the provision of antiretroviral treatment to 750,000 people between 2014 and 2016.
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