OTTAWA, Canada (AFP) – Men are less likely to be tested for HIV or access antiretroviral therapy and are therefore more likely to die from AIDS-related illnesses than women, UNAIDS said on Friday.
Around the world, less than half of HIV-positive men receive treatment, compared to 60% of women, according to an UNAIDS report released on World AIDS Day.
Men are also more likely than women to start treatment late, interrupt it and not follow up after treatment.
Around 36.7 million people in the world were living with HIV in 2016, but less than 21 million people had access to antiretrovirals, according to UNAIDS.
AIDS or related diseases killed one million people worldwide in 2016 and approximately 1.8 million new infections were reported.
In sub-Saharan Africa, men living with HIV are 20 percent less likely to know their HIV status than women. In the same region, condom use for overnight stays is low among older men, who are also more likely to be HIV positive.
"These data are consistent with studies that show a cycle of HIV transmission from older men to young women, and from adult women to adult men of a similar age in places with high HIV prevalence," UNAIDS said.
Homobadual men are 24 times more likely to contract HIV than heterobadual men.
In addition, in more than a dozen countries, including Mexico and Nigeria, more than 15 percent of homobadual men live with AIDS.
UNAIDS also deplored the decline in condom use in Australia, Europe and the United States.
"If we allow complacency to take hold, HIV will take root and our hopes of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 will be cut short," said UNAIDS Director Michel Sidibe.