A report released this week has highlighted how continuing criminalisation and marginalisation of key populations are stymying efforts to end the global HIV/AIDS epidemic.
The report from UNAIDS, entitled ‘The Path that Ends AIDS’, says that ending AIDS is a political and financial choice, and that in countries where HIV responses have been backed up by strong policies and leadership on the issue, “extraordinary results” have been achieved.
It points to African states that have already achieved key targets aimed at stopping the spread of HIV and getting treatment to people with the virus. It also points out that a further 16 other countries, eight of them in sub-Saharan Africa, which accounts for 65% of all people living with HIV, are close to doing so.
But the report also focuses on the devastating impact HIV/AIDS continues to have and how alarming rises in new infections in some places are being driven largely by a lack of HIV prevention services for marginalized and key populations and the barriers posed by punitive laws and social discrimination.