Progress against HIV pandemic has faltered – UNAIDS Report
Red ribbon, symbol of a commitment to the fight against HIV/AIDS. Clipping path included.

KINGSTON, Jamaica - The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) report, titled ‘In Danger’, has revealed that during the last two years of COVID-19 and the impact of other global crises, progress against the HIV pandemic has faltered.

This was disclosed by executive director of UNAIDS, Winnie Byanyima.

According to a release, Byanyima, who was speaking at the virtual launch on Wednesday, said new HIV infections dropped by only 3.6 per cent between 2020 and 2021.

“This is the smallest annual decline since 2016,” Byanyima said.

She informed that in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa, new HIV infections have been increasing every year, over multiple years.

“In Asia and the Pacific, the world’s most populous regions, our data show that for the first time, new infections are now rising. Previously, they had been falling. In eastern and southern Africa, where we had the fastest progress on reducing new infections and reducing deaths, even there we are seeing progress slowing significantly in 2021,” Byanyima stated.

She further noted that there were 1.5 million new infections in 2021, which is more than one million above the global target. In addition, there were 650,000 AIDS-related deaths last year despite the availability of effective HIV treatment and tools to prevent, detect, and treat opportunistic infections.

“If these trends continue, we could see 7.7 million additional AIDS-related deaths in this decade. The multiple global crises have undermined services. The number of people on HIV treatment grew more slowly in 2021 than it has been over the last 10 years, so fewer people are coming for treatment,” Byanyima informed.

She added that of all the children living with HIV, only 52 per cent are on lifesaving medicine.

There were an estimated 330,000 people living with HIV in the Caribbean in 2021. According to the report, from 2010 to 2021, AIDS-related deaths in the region declined by 50 per cent. There were 5,700 deaths last year and new HIV infections decreased by 28 per cent since 2010.

An estimated 14,000 people contracted HIV in 2021, translating into 270 new HIV infections every week in the Caribbean.

Meanwhile, Byanyima said the report “shows us how to achieve an effective response. It is by addressing inequalities head-on”.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at


  1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper; email addresses will not be published.
  2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.
  3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.
  4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.
  5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:
  6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:
  7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy