Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)

The goal of ending HIV/AIDS is realistic

HIV and AIDS continue to impact millions of people. By the end of 2020, 36.3 million people have died from AIDS-related illnesses since the start of the epidemic.1 In the same year, about 37.7 million people globally were living with HIV, of which about 6.1 million were not aware that they had the infection.

But this is, in fact, significant progress compared to earlier in the epidemic. If we look at the numbers over the years, there has been a 47% decline in AIDS-related deaths since 2010. New HIV infections have reduced by 52% since the peak in 1997.Much of this progress can be attributed to improved access to timely diagnosis, monitoring and proper treatment.

With the concerted effort from UNAIDS and partnerships with key organizations and businesses, the numbers are looking promising, and the objective of ending AIDS is realistic.

global heatmap for HIV infection

Diagnosing and treating HIV today is the key to achieving viral suppression tomorrow

Efforts to stop the spread of HIV

Monitoring HIV levels is a standard procedure in treating HIV-infected patients in high-income countries. Unfortunately, the availability of viral load monitoring in low and middle-income countries with significant HIV presence may be limited due to accessibility.2

To attain the 95-95-95 HIV elimination goal by 2030, 95% of people living with HIV should be able to know their HIV status, 95% of people who know their HIV status should have access to high-quality HIV treatment options and 95% of people should have attained viral suppression. The fact that we still have new infections means that diagnosis and treatment have still not reached all the affected people.

UNAIDS therefore deems that ensuring ready access to viral load testing for those receiving antiretroviral therapy is essential for achieving HIV elimination targets.2 Viral load testing also helps prevent unnecessary changes to medication (often to more expensive medicines) or continuing on medications that are no longer effective, which can result in drug resistance and even untimely death.2

Roche's Global Access Program

Roche has been at the forefront of efforts to reliably diagnose and treat HIV infection since 1986. As the leading provider of HIV early infant diagnosis and viral load testing, Roche has a social responsibility to provide care where access is limited, especially in countries hardest hit by the disease.

To address this, Roche launched the Global Access Program in 2014 to expand HIV diagnostics to where they are most needed:

  • Early infant diagnosis
  • Dried blood spot collection
  • Viral load testing
  • Mobile health solution

In the Global Access Program, we collaborate with partner organizations, governments and relief organizations worldwide improving access to highly sensitive diagnostic assays that can quantitate HIV viral loads for people who need it the most around the world.


  1. Accessed September 2023.
  2. UNAIDS 2016. The need for routine viral load testing. Accessed September 2023.