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UN Declaration on HIV and AIDS commits to 90% of people living with HIV accessing care for NCDs and mental health

11th June 2021

United Nations Member States have adopted a new political declaration at the United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on AIDS. Exciting commitments relating to noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are included which call for full coverage of NCD services for 90% of people living with HIV by 2025.

The new political declaration, "Ending Inequalities and Getting on Track to End AIDS by 2030", is a significant advancement on the 2016 political declaration and closely aligns with the new UNAIDS Global AIDS Strategy 2021–2026. It includes a set of clear global targets for HIV which, if reached by the international community, will avert 3.6 million new HIV infections and 1.7 million AIDS-related deaths by 2030.

Among these targets is a very important target that demonstrates the global will to achieve universal health coverage through the adoption of people-centered approaches.

The target commits governments to: "Investing in robust, resilient, equitable and publicly funded systems for health and social protection systems that provide 90 per cent of people living with, at risk of and affected by HIV with people-centered and context-specific integrated services for HIV and other communicable diseases, non-communicable diseases, sexual and reproductive health care and gender-based violence, mental health, palliative care, treatment of alcohol dependence and drug use, legal services and other services they need for their overall health and well-being by 2025".

“This UN agreement represents the first time that governments have committed to a target to ensure NCD care for any group. This sets a vital precedent for all people living with NCDs worldwide, including too many who currently cannot access essential treatment, medication or care. This must by matched with commitments to provide NCD care for all at UN High-Level meetings on Universal Health Coverage in 2023 and on NCDs in 2025." Katie Dain, CEO, NCD Alliance

The adoption of this commitment offers an unprecedented opportunity for the NCD and HIV communities to work together collaboratively, including the development of indicators for monitoring and accountability.

NCD screening, diagnosis, treatment and care – including palliative care and services for mental health and alcohol use disorders – are of great importance to people living with HIV due to their increased risk of NCD co-morbidities and rising prevalence of NCDs among people living with HIV of all ages.

The NCD Alliance commends member states on the adoption of the political declaration and commits to working with partners and governments to achieve this target by 2025 by promoting integration services and ensuring equitable health for all.