Havana Tribune

Director of Public Health and Environment at the World Health Organization (WHO) Maria Neira is confident that the end of the HIV pandemic is very close.

It’s very important to have some public health victory as well, and we’re so close to targeting the end of HIV that it’s worth making that last effort, just as it is with polio.

Neira emphasized that in the field of public health, there is not enough optimism and ambition should not be limited, although he considered that humanity must and of course will end the epidemic of this disease.

WHO guidance commits to a collective effort to develop new diagnoses and treatments and to maintain funding, so that “inequality does not prevent ending HIV”.

After the Covid-19 pandemic, whose global alert is expected to be deactivated before the end of the year, it is clear that Neira’s biggest challenge at this time is prevention.

In this sense, he considered it necessary to defend animal and human health and the environment.

“As long as we do not protect food, air and water, which are the foundations of our health, we will always face inevitable dangers,” he noted while warning of the impact of deforestation on biodiversity.

Neira has advocated for the need to make progress towards clean energy, healthy urban planning, and ensuring a sustainable food production system.

According to the United Nations, as of December 2021, approximately 84.2 million people have been infected with HIV. Of these, 40.1 million died of secondary AIDS-related illnesses.

Today, there are about 38.4 million infected people, and during the year 2021, about 1.5 million new cases were recorded, while the number of deaths reached about 650,000 people.

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(taken from Latin press)

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