BRICS countries underline the imperative of advancing cooperation and action on HIV and Tuberculosis

Foto: EBC/Jehgas Preotto

18 October 2016 - At the close of the 2016 BRICS Summit in Goa, India, leaders of the BRICS countries (Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, China and South Africa) have underlined the imperative of advancing cooperation and action to respond to the epidemics of HIV and tuberculosis.

In their declaration, the leaders emphasized the importance of cooperation among BRICS countries in promoting the research and development of local pharmaceuticals and diagnostic tools in order to facilitate access to safe, effective, quality and affordable medicines. 

The Goa Declaration, issued at the end of the two-day summit, also took note of efforts made by BRICS health ministers to achieve the 90-90-90 targets by 2020, whereby 90% of people living with HIV will know their HIV status, 90% of people who know their HIV-positive status will access treatment and 90% of people on treatment will have suppressed viral loads. The declaration also noted the United Nations High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS, which took place in New York, United States of America, in June 2016, at which countries committed to following a Fast-Track response to ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030. 

At the end of 2015, almost one in three people living with HIV resided in a BRICS country, while those nations also accounted for almost a third of new HIV infections. 

"The continued leadership of the BRICS countries will be essential to ending the AIDS epidemic," said UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibé. "South-South cooperation will be key to achieving the 90-90-90 targets, which are about accelerating and intensifying our efforts in the response to HIV in order to save lives," he added.

The 90-90-90 targets are part of a Fast-Track response that aims to achieve ambitious millstones by 2020, including fewer than 500 000 people newly infected with HIV, fewer than 500 000 people dying from AIDS-related illnesses and the elimination of HIV-related discrimination.

It is estimated that a failure to Fast-Track would result in an additional 17.6 million new HIV infections worldwide and an additional 10.8 million AIDS-related deaths between 2016 and 2030.

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