Thousands of people infected with HIV are at risk of premature death

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Dhe corona pandemic, which has meanwhile more than 3.1 million officially identified infected people, has not only almost displaced other epidemics from the focus of the public and politics. Corona with all its consequences also leads to dramatic consequences in the fight against a disease that is still far too often fatal: Aids.

In addition, for the first time in its history this year, a world AIDS conference could not take place as planned. The 23rd international meeting, which takes place only every two years, would probably have brought the 20,000 conference participants together again this week, and of all in that of Corona worst affected country in the world, the United States. However, “Aids 2020” did not take place in San Francisco and nearby Oakland in California, but in a much smaller and virtual form on the Internet. Also because, as the organizers announced, there have been no studies so far as to whether people with HIV who would have traveled to California in large numbers are more affected by Sars CoV-2 infection and the associated symptoms than people who are not infected with the HI virus.

One of the focal points of the approximately 600 contributions that were mostly broadcast live on the Internet in the past five days was about Covid-19. The consequences of corona-related restrictions are devastating: Thousands of people infected with HIV are at risk of premature death because they are currently unable to receive their life-sustaining medication. The World Health Organization (WHO) believes that a six-month interruption of therapy this year and next year in sub-Saharan Africa could result in an additional 500,000 deaths. In 2018, around 470,000 people died of AIDS and the associated diseases such as tuberculosis in the region.

If, as feared, the lockdowns continue for six months, one would fall back on the year 2008 when around 950,000 people died of AIDS south of the Sahara. At the same time, the WHO points out that the aftermath of the six-month period would be felt for a further five years – with up to 40 percent more AIDS deaths per year than would be expected without a corona. Around 25.7 million of the approximately 38 million people infected with HIV live in sub-Saharan Africa, two thirds of whom had access to AIDS drugs in 2018.

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