Deaths from AIDS (1 500 000 in 2013) have been falling more slowly than anticipated with improved access to antiretroviral therapy. Opportunistic infections account for most AIDS-related mortality, with a median age of death in the mid-30s. About 360 000 (24%) of AIDS deaths are attributed to tuberculosis. Fungal infections deaths in AIDS are estimated at more than 700 000 deaths (47%) annually. Rapid diagnostic tools and antifungal agents are available for these diseases and would likely have a major impact in reducing deaths. Scenarios for reduction of avoidable deaths were constructed based on published outcomes of the real-life impact of diagnostics and generic antifungal drugs to 2020. Annual deaths could fall for cryptococcal disease by 70 000, <i>Pneumocystis</i> pneumonia by 162 500, disseminated histoplasmosis by 48 000 and chronic pulmonary aspergillosis by 33 500, with approximately 60% coverage of diagnostics and antifungal agents. If factored in with the 90–90–90 campaign rollout and its effect, AIDS deaths could fall to 426 000 by 2020, with further reductions possible with increased coverage. Action could and should be taken by donors, national and international public health agencies, NGOs and governments to achieve the UNAIDS mortality reduction target, by scaling up capability to detect and treat fungal disease in AIDS.This article is part of the themed issue ‘Tackling emerging fungal threats to animal health, food security and ecosystem resilience’.
|Date made available||7 Oct 2016|