UNAIDS has released a report showing that the next five years are critical in slowing the spread of HIV. Now that major advances in treatment have been made, HIV prevention seems to be less of a topic. The stark fact is that treatment alone will not stop the spread of HIV. To halt the continuing spread of this condition, prevention efforts need to be revamped, especially when it comes to high-risk groups.

Treatment Costs on the Rise

One of the amazing things about modern HIV treatment is that most people who are infected with the disease can expect to live to the average lifespan. This fact, however, also makes prevention a necessity. With HIV positive individuals living longer and the infection rate growing in many countries, costs of providing treatment are skyrocketing for governments around the world. In fact, in several African nations it has been calculated that more than one-third of government spending on health must target HIV, and that this translates into as much as 2% of the gross domestic product of some nations.

A Reachable yet Difficult Goal

UNAIDS sees the next five years as an opportunity to strike a major blow against HIV. With the funds to provide treatment globally and greater prevention encouragement for at-risk individuals, the organization is seeking to eliminate transmission from mother to child by 2030. The difficulty is encouraging the haves to share with the have-nots since many of the nations facing such crises simply do not have the funds to enact the needed programs.

First World Problem: Complacency

HIV prevention is not just an issue in Africa. In advanced nations such as in Europe and North America, evidence reveals that among homosexual men, infection rates have started to rise. This negative shift is blamed on complacency due to treatment methods and their accessibility in these nations. Rather than on treatment, the focus needs to be on prevention if infection rates in countries such as the US are going to decrease as they should.