Covid-19 may lead to spike in Aids deaths, warns UNAids

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While infection rates are coming down in sub-Saharan Africa, they are going up in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and, to a lesser degree, in the Middle East and North Africa. Picture: Dadang Tri/Reuters
While infection rates are coming down in sub-Saharan Africa, they are going up in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and, to a lesser degree, in the Middle East and North Africa. Picture: Dadang Tri/Reuters

NEWS

Six more months of disruptions related to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic could potentially result in a spike of an additional 500 000 Aids-related deaths in sub-Saharan Africa by the end of next year.

Speaking at the launch of the 2020 UNAids Global Aids Update on Monday, executive director Winnie Byanyima said the agency’s modelling shows that a continuation of severe disruptions from the Covid-19 response measures has the potential to push up the Aids death rate by devastating numbers. It’s a scenario that would amount to a 72% increase on the estimated 690 000 HIV-related deaths globally in 2019.

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