11 November 2022 | Silvia Poggioli
The latest UNAIDS report sounded an alarm among those in and outside the HIV response that investments and efforts in HIV prevention and treatment are not bringing about the progress we need to end the epidemic by 2030. In 2021 alone, 1.5 million people became infected with HIV, three times the global target. In sub-Saharan Africa, women and girls account for 63% of all new HIV infections, with six out of seven new infections among young people occurring among girls aged 15–19 years.
Health literacy and digital communication have an important part to play in reversing this trend and our latest Annual Report for 2021-22 sets out the work we have been doing to support this goal. Focusing on the first year of our new strategy the report showcases our exciting successes, invaluable partnerships, and the pathways that will see us building health literacy on HIV and sexual health and contributing to ending AIDS by 2030.
Health literacy has never mattered more. It plays a crucial role in disease prevention, promoting sexual health, and supporting people to live well with HIV, by improving an individual’s ability to gain access to, understand and use reliable information. Health literacy empowers people to use this knowledge to take action to improve their self-care. Digital communication also presents enormous opportunities to promote and increase health literacy across disenfranchised communities.