COVID-19 may cause spike in AIDS deaths

Disruptions in HIV services resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic could lead to as many as 673,000 extra AIDS-related deaths in sub-Saharan Africa by the end of next year, POZ reports. Modeling experts assembled by the World Health Organization and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) analysed the effects of potential reductions in access to HIV treatment, viral load testing, condom distribution, HIV testing, and voluntary medical male circumcision over three and six months. The half-year model estimates that 471,000 to 673,000 people could die in addition to the hundreds of thousands in the region whose lives are claimed each year by HIV-related causes (about 470,000 in 2018). UNAIDS and its partners in the Global HIV Prevention Coalition have published a series of documents to help countries safeguard the health of vulnerable people during the COVID-19 pandemic (POZ, 12 May 2020).