Adebayo while lamenting low rate of HIV testing, disclosed that only 22 million out of over 37 million people now affected are undergoing treatment.
"The Region of the Americas has made important progress in the fight against AIDS and part of this is down to the fact that over three-quarters of people living with HIV have been tested and nearly 80 percent of them are now in treatment", said Dr. Marcos Espinal, Director of the PAHO/WHO Department of Communicable Diseases and Environmental Determinants of Health. But we still have miles to go, as the latest UNAIDS report shows, and that includes reaching people living with HIV who do not know their status and ensuring that they are linked to quality care and prevention services.
Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Anupriya Patel on Saturday, said, "The HIV/AIDS Programme has focused on more than one million people from high risk group and has kept HIV infection in control through comprehensive and intense targeted interventions services".
Over 2.1 million people live with HIV in Latin America and the Caribbean, 1.6 million of whom know their status.
PAHO says the majority of new infections in the Region occur in gay men and other men who have sex with men, which represent 41 percent of new cases in Latin America and 23 percent in the Caribbean.
"Even though it is not one hundred percent certain, many youths feel if they use protection when having sex with an infected person, they will not get the virus", she said.
She listed stigma and discrimination as factors still deterring people from taking an HIV test adding that access to confidential HIV testing was aslo an issue of concern.
More recently, in 2018, the opioid crisis marked the first time in two decades where the number of new HIV diagnoses attributed to intravenous drug use increased. Globally, 15- to 24-year-old women are twice as likely as young men to be infected. We also have to build strong linkages to guarantee HIV prevention, care and treatment services after testing. Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day.
"We have made tremendous progress in the global fight against HIV/AIDS".