Gay men, prisoners & sex workers make up half of all new HIV infections

A new report released by UNAIDS last week has revealed that drug addicts, gay men, transgender people, sex workers, prisoners, and their partners accounted for more than half of new HIV infections globally during 2018.

Launched in Eshowe in northern KwaZulu-Natal, the report goes on to say that these key populations accounted for 95% of new infections in eastern Europe, central Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa. 

According to IOL, the report further noted that less than 50% of key populations were reached with combination HIV prevention services. The outlet quotes UNAIDS Executive Director Gunilla Carlsson as saying globally around 1.7 million people became newly infected with HIV in 2018. This makes for a 16% decline since 2010. 

Carlsson believes that this was mostly driven by steady progress across most of eastern and southern Africa. 

“South Africa, for example, has made huge advances and has successfully reduced new HIV infections by more than 40 percent and AIDS-related deaths by around 40 percent since 2010,” she said, adding however that there was still a long way to go in eastern and southern Africa, two regions most affected by HIV.