Author: M. G.
During a recent UNAIDS meeting in Panama, deputy executive director Luis Loures stated that the efforts in fighting HIV/AIDS are now so dramatically efficient that "2030 is a viable target to say that we have reached the end of the epidemic".
To be honest, when you hear that 3 million people are infected by the HIV virus every year and 1.7 million people die because of AIDS, you do not think we are near to the end. It's also true that this optimistic vision is supported by many facts, like the lower price of treatments, the increasing number of people able to access them and the general decrease in infections and deaths for people infected with HIV/AIDS. If you think that since 2001 we have seen a reduction of 33% in the infections among adults and children, you can understand the size of the progress in act - and also how dramatic the situation was just ten years ago, when we founded Designers against AIDS!
According to UNAIDS, 2015 is the first step, with the goal of having 15 million people on treatment. The accessibility to the treatments seems to be the key, since the more people can be treated in the early stage of the disease, the lower the general risk level of infection.
Another key aspect is to reach vulnerable categories like MSMs, sex workers and drug users in any part of the world . The level of control of the epidemic among these groups worldwide actually shows the achievement in the general fight against the disease. What makes this part of the process very complex is the stigma factor, which still keeps those who are most in need of help in the shadows .
HIV/AIDS is not just a medical issue, in my opinion it's mainly a social one, because of the ways the virus can be transmitted and the prejudices involved. 2030 is a plausible goal only if the social aspect of the problem will be considered and solved effectively; therefore we can't just hope for an ending soon, but have to make another strong effort and go all out for the final rush.