HIV antiretroviral therapy coverage in low- and middle-income countries to grow 25% by 2025, WHO says | Top Vip News

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Currently, only half of children living with HIV receive ART; may fall short of UNAIDS treatment coverage target by 2025

Photo for representation: iStock

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that the number of people receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) has increased from 23.6 million in 2019 to 26.6 million in 2021.

Projections indicate a further increase of 25 percent by 2025, as outlined in a recent WHO publication. This report provides information on projected demand for medicines used in HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), which could guide promotion, procurement planning and manufacturing strategies.

Of the 38.4 million people estimated to be living with HIV by the end of 2021, 25.6 million reside in the WHO African Region.

Dolutegravir-based ART remains the leading treatment recommendation for HIV in low- and middle-income countries, both for initial and secondary treatment.

Despite a projected decline in the number of children living with HIV in low- and middle-income countries, achieving the UNAIDS target of 95 percent treatment coverage by 2025 would require an increase in the number of children receiving treatment to 1.1 million. Currently, only about half of the 1.7 million children living with HIV (as of 2021) receive ART.

The use of oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) has seen a significant increase globally: approximately 1.8 million people received it in 2021, five times more than in 2018. The African Region witnessed the most substantial growth in PrEP use between 2018 and 2021, with projections suggesting that up to 5 million people could be using PrEP by 2023.

Chronic hepatitis B and C infections continue to pose significant burdens globally, with more than 350 million affected worldwide in 2019. Additionally, an estimated 3 million new infections occur each year.

In 2019, an estimated 296 million people were living with chronic hepatitis B infection and 1.5 million new infections occurred each year.

Hepatitis B is estimated to have caused 820,000 deaths in 2019. The burden of hepatitis B infection is highest in the WHO Western Pacific Region, with 116 million people chronically infected, and in the African Region, with 81 million. of chronically infected people. Hepatitis C caused about 290,000 deaths in 2019.

It is estimated that each year there are 374 million new infections due to one of the four curable sexually transmitted infections (STIs): chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and trichomoniasis.

The WHO estimates that 930,000 pregnant women annually suffer from probable active syphilis (transmissible during pregnancy). The UN health agency targeted syphilis, along with HIV and hepatitis B, in its initiative to eliminate mother-to-child transmission. Benzathine penicillin G is the only recommended treatment to prevent mother-to-child transmission of syphilis.

The 75th World Health Assembly approved the implementation of the WHO global health sector strategies on HIV, viral hepatitis and STIs for the period 2022-2030.

Aligned with the UNAIDS Global AIDS Strategy 2021-26, these initiatives aim to reduce the inequalities driving the AIDS epidemic and work to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.




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