Strong political leadership is needed to help accelerate HIV prevention efforts, as about 1.3 million people across the globe contracted HIV last year.

This was raised at the HIV Multi-Sectoral Leadership Forum in Windhoek.

Although progress has been made in HIV prevention efforts, there's still a long way to go in reducing new HIV infections by less than 370,000 annually by 2025. 

In east and southern Africa, about 300,100 girls are infected each week.

This calls for a multispectral approach to address barriers hindering progress.

One such approach is funding and strong political will to, among others, address policy and legal barriers that continue to impede access to HIV services.

"It means following the data to make decisions. It means leveraging innovation to inform country-specific strategies. For our global partners, support for country leadership means a willingness to coordinate joint action and investments in national health, social, and economic systems. This is how we secure the gains made, bridge the disparities that drag us back, and expedite the progress we need to make," said Professor Sheila Tlou, Co-Chair for the Global HIV Prevention Coalition.

Many HIV patients still struggle to access HIV prevention services owing to persisting inequalities and violations of human rights.

The HIV Multi-Sectoral Leadership Forum will thus focus on leadership for multi-sectoral approaches to HIV management to help maintain the virus's primary prevention agenda.

At the event, the HIV Leadership Forum Position Paper and Policy Brief on the leadership role of national AIDS coordinating authorities in HIV prevention and sustainable health were launched.

The forum is held under the theme "Sustaining effective leadership to secure gains, bridge disparities, and expedite progress."



Celma Ndhikwa