The United Nations is concerned that the coronavirus crisis in Africa could result in an additional 500,000 deaths from AIDS or related diseases by 2021. According to an estimate by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNAIDS, the number of victims would double compared to 2018.
Everything must be done so that there is no six-month interruption in the supply of HIV-infected people with antiviral therapy, the organizations wrote today in a joint appeal based on various scenarios.
Many facilities closed
Currently, many facilities for HIV patients are closed due to the fight against the coronavirus, or the supply chain with the necessary medication has been interrupted. If this condition persists, the outbreak of the immune deficiency disease threatens. “We have to see this as a wake-up call to all countries to maintain their important health facilities,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
An estimated 26 million people live with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. According to the WHO, 16.4 million of them receive antiviral therapy that is supposed to protect against the onset of the disease.
A few weeks ago, the WHO issued a similar warning regarding malaria. This infectious disease could also cause significantly more deaths than previously due to the deficiencies associated with Covid-19 in other areas.