The United Nations Program for HIV / AIDS (UNAIDS) estimates that the corona pandemic and its consequences could account for almost 300,000 additional HIV infections and up to 150,000 additional AIDS deaths by the end of 2022. This makes it clear that World AIDS Day, which is celebrated every year on December 1st, is also dominated by the pandemic. The main reason for the additional problems is interruptions in health care.
According to UNAIDS, 1.7 million people were infected with the HI virus last year. An estimated twelve million infected people have had no access to medication. The UN organization called on countries where HIV-positive people are still stigmatized and discriminated against to change their policies. But there is also a perspective, not least because of the corona crisis: If the world invests significantly more in health systems in connection with the pandemic and sets itself ambitious goals, it could be possible that AIDS will no longer be a threat to public health in 2030, it is said in a UNAIDS report. In Vienna, the Red Ribbon is affixed to parliament and the town hall as a sign of solidarity with HIV-infected and AIDS patients.
On the occasion of World AIDS Day, Health Minister Rudolf Anschober (Greens) emphasized the importance of prevention, education and support offers for those affected. He also referred to the expert hearing in the National Council on Tuesday on the grounds for excluding blood donation: “My goal is to enable blood donation to be non-discriminatory,” the minister announced.
Instead of general group membership, the future will focus on individual behavior in the risk assessment: “This is the essential factor for the quality of the blood products.” Based on the recommendations of the blood commission and the assessment of experts, the Ministry of Health will present a revised questionnaire in the next few weeks. “In order to ensure the highest quality of blood donations, we are guided by international standards when implementing them,” explains the Minister of Health. “What we can already say today is that current findings on the diagnostic time window must be taken into account as well as new methods of preventing and treating HIV infections.”
This should also take into account the use of pre- or post-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP or PEP) in the blood donation questionnaire. “In any case, sexual orientation must not be an exclusion criterion when donating blood,” concludes Anschober.
As far as World AIDS Day is concerned, the increase in the HIV fund by 25 percent and the increase in the funding period for Aids aid from one to two years are encouraging: “Aids aid is intended to be an important pillar in the prevention of sex communicable diseases gain planning security so that they can concentrate even more on their important core tasks. ”