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Experts warn detection and treatment of AIDS decreased during COVID-19 pandemic

World AIDS Day falls on December 1. All around the world, experts have warned that the detection rate of AIDS has decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Poland, there is a growing group of HIV-infected people who get treatment too late.

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In addition, the percentage of people testing for HIV infection is falling alarmingly. Meanwhile, the PBS study among people infected with HIV shows that Poland has better access to therapy, and people can lead a normal life with the virus. Poland also provides fully reimbursed drugs.

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the detection of HIV infections has significantly decreased in Poland. In infectious diseases hospitals, many patients are seropositive, diagnosed in a very late, life-threatening stage of infection, and sometimes with AIDS development. In the coming years, their number may increase,” said prof. Alicja Wiercińska-Drapało, Head of the Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases and Hepatology at the Medical University of Warsaw.

Professor Wiercińska-Drapało has appealed to people in high risk groups to test themselves as many people live with HIV, but do not know it. “We already have more and more cases of AIDS in our hospital, as many as the beginning of this epidemic, from the 1980s,” she emphasised.

On December 1, US President Joe Biden will unveil an updated national strategy to combat the AIDS epidemic by boosting money for research, increasing access to treatment, and recognising the role racism plays in inequitable access to medical services.The target is to end the US HIV epidemic by 2030, including a 75 percent reduction in new HIV infections by 2025 and a 90 percent reduction by 2030.

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