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Global attention needed to prevent and treat AIDS in antiretroviral era.

24 July 2017

Nsanje, Malawi: Simbazako, 19 years, undergoes radiography for tuberculosis in Nsanje district hospital, Malawi. He says: “I feel too much pain in my ribs. I take my ARVs without skipping even a day but my health is not improving as I had expected.” Photographer: Luca Sola.

Homa Bay, Kenya: John, 40 years, was diagnosed with HIV in 2009 and started taking antiretrovirals immediately. He has been having diarrhoea for three weeks and lost a lot of weight before coming to Homa Bay hospital. Photographer: Patrick Meinhardt

Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): An MSF doctor osculates a patient’s lungs to check for abnormalities in MSF’s HIV unit, which provides the only free hospital care for AIDS in the country. Photographer: Kris Pannecoucke

Nsanje, Malawi: Misheck, 29 years, from Mozambique come to Malawi for work. After one month, he had a malaria attack. During his stay at Nsanje district hospital, he was diagnosed HIV positive with severe immune failure. Photographer: Luca Sola

Homa Bay, Kenya: John, 56 years, was diagnosed with HIV in 2015 and has been taking antiretrovirals ever since. He was admitted in Homa Bay hospital in July 2017 with back and chest pain and needs assistance for most tasks. Photographer: Patrick Meinhardt

Homa Bay, Kenya: Medical staff in the tuberculosis (TB) ward in MSF-supported Homa Bay hospital, where AIDS accounts for 50% of all admissions. Photographer: Patrick Meinhardt

Homa Bay, Kenya: Zipporah, 33 years, was tested for HIV in 2016 but started taking antiretrovirals in February 2017 because she was afraid of the treatment. She has Kaposi Sarcoma, a form of cancer which occurs in late stages of HIV infection and will start chemotherapy soon. Photographer: Patrick Meinhardt.

Kinshasa, DRC: A patient* admitted to MSF’s AIDS unit who died of tuberculosis days after this photo was taken.  Photographer: Kris Pannecoucke

An unacceptably high number of people continue to develop and die of AIDS and other related diseases across sub-Saharan Africa. They remain left out of the global HIV response without access to treatment that prevents AIDS or the medical care they need.

MSF calls for the wide implementation of new WHO guidelines for advanced HIV and strengthened hospital-based care, along with reinforced methods to keep as many patients as possible under effective treatment at the community, primary and secondary health care levels.

Policy makers, international organisations, ministries of health, donors and partner organisations in both high and low HIV prevalence settings must increase investment and funding of new packages of care for neglected and vulnerable groups, as well as the registration and supply of affordable treatments for opportunistic infections.

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