A model analysis group convened by the World Health Organization and UNAIDS said today that a six-month disruption of antiretroviral treatment between 2020 and 2021 could lead to more than half a million more deaths from AIDS-related diseases in sub-Saharan Africa if efforts are not made to alleviate and overcome disruptions in health services and supplies during the neo-coronavirus pandemic.
This model analysis shows that there are many different reasons that can cause service disruption. The impact of the six-month interruption in antiretroviral treatment may actually push AIDS-related deaths back to 2008 levels, when 950,000 AIDS-related deaths were observed in the region.
The analysis points out that for at least the next five years, people will continue to die in large numbers of the same service disruption, with an average annual death toll of more than 40 percent. In addition, the disruption of HIV services may also have some impact on the incidence of HIV next year.
In sub-Saharan Africa, an estimated 25.7 million people were infected with HIV in 2018, 64 per cent of whom were receiving antiretroviral treatment. These people are now at risk of treatment disruption, including the closure of HIV services, or the inability to provide antiretroviral treatment due to supply chain disruptions, or the lack of AIDS services due to priority response services to the response to the new coronavirus outbreak.
The studies mentioned in the analysis bring together five groups of models using different mathematical models to analyze the impact of new coronaviruses on the various disturbances that can be caused by HIV testing, prevention and treatment services.
Studies have shown that urgent measures are needed to ensure continuity in HIV prevention and treatment services to avoid excessive HIV-related deaths and to prevent an increase in the incidence of HIV during the neo-coronavirus pandemic.
The analysis emphasized that States should give priority to strengthening supply chains to ensure that those who have received treatment can continue to receive treatment, including through policies such as the adoption or strengthening of the distribution of antiretroviral drugs for months, in order to reduce the need for access to medical facilities for routine maintenance and to reduce the burden of overburdened medical systems.