The Global Health Sector Strategies on HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections 2016-2021 will soon come to an end. New strategies are needed to bridge the gap between 2021 and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
The report noted that despite considerable progress in some areas of prevention and treatment, most interim 2020 targets across the strategies have not been reached. Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic the pace of progress in reducing new HIV infections, increasing access to treatment and ending AIDS-related deaths was slowing.
Major advances in hepatitis prevention, testing and treatment were still failing to reach the 290 million people globally unaware they are living with viral hepatitis. And prior to the pandemic more than 1 million sexually transmitted infections (STIs) continued to be acquired every day worldwide with more than 350,000 adverse birth outcomes including 200,000 stillbirths and newborn STI-related deaths occurring annually.
The 74th World Health Assembly in May 2021 is asked to adopt the Executive Board’s decision that strategies are developed for the Assembly’s consideration in 2022 through a broad consultative process with Member States, communities and other stakeholders and in alignment with the strategies of UNAIDS and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
In response, WHO is organizing a series of briefings and consultations to inform the strategies’ development process. A series of regional consultations will be held in May and June 2021 to hear from a broad range of stakeholders from every region. Parallel to the regional consultations, an online survey is available to broaden the scope for input from additional stakeholders.
WHO encourages all interested individuals and organizations to complete the online survey here.
WHO is proposing that the three strategies, when final, will be presented in one document with an emphasis on further strengthening integration opportunities including through primary health care and collaboration with community actors. The new strategies will seek to preserve an individual approach to each disease area while also emphasizing important synergies to be found in combatting HIV, viral hepatitis and STIs collectively.
The global health sector strategies on HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections 2016-2021 were adopted by the World Health Assembly in 2016. They set out strategies for tackling the three epidemics, set targets for 2020 and 2030, propose concrete actions to be taken by countries and WHO, and seek to ensure that the epidemics are ended as public health threats by 2030.