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Healthcare worker takes the blood sample for an HIV/AIDS test. Photo by: Emmanuel Osodi/Majority World/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

COVID-19 has severely set back key programs in fighting HIV, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria, according to a report released by the Global Fund on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Before the pandemic, the world had been making strides against those three diseases, with deaths dropping by half since 2004, per the New York Times.

  • Fewer people sought diagnosis or treatment because they were afraid of becoming infected with the coronavirus, per the Times, while others were denied care because they had COVID-19-like symptoms.

By the numbers: In 2019, an estimated 10 million people fell ill with tuberculosis, according to the World Health Organization. And over 1.5 million people became newly infected with HIV in 2020, according to UNAIDS.

  • The number of people treated dropped by 19% for drug-resistant TB and by 37% for extensively drug-resistant TB.
  • HIV testing dropped by 22%.
  • People reached by HIV prevention programs dropped by 11% while prevention services for young people dropped by 12%.

But, but, but: Malaria outreach was not as badly affected by COVID-19 as the other two diseases.

  • The Global Fund distributed 188 million mosquito nets to protect families from malaria, a 17% increase compared to 2019. 

What they're saying: “[The 2020 numbers] confirm what we feared might happen when COVID-19 struck,” Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund, said.

  • “Despite the horrible toll COVID-19 has taken, the pandemic presents us with a chance to build a better, more equitable and healthier world,” Sands added.

Go deeper

Hawaii invites fully vaccinated travelers to return from Nov. 1

Hawaii Gov. David Ige. Photo: Darryl Oumi/Getty Images

Hawaii Gov. David Ige (D) announced plans Wednesday to soon welcome back nonresidents to the island state who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 for nonessential travel.

Why it matters: Hawaii's tourist-dependent labor market suffered one of the worst blows in the U.S. last year and the state's climb out of its pandemic-sized hole is moving slowly, Axios' Courtenay Brown notes.

Oct 20, 2021 - Health

In-N-Out refuses to follow San Francisco's vaccine mandate

Photo: James Leynse/Corbis via Getty Images

The California burger chain In-N-Out is refusing to follow San Francisco's vaccination mandate, which requires restaurants to check for customers' proof of vaccination to dine indoors, the Washington Post reports.

Driving the news: The San Francisco Public Health Department has had to remind employees multiple times to check for proof of vaccination since September, ultimately resulting in the city's only In-N-Out location getting shut down on Oct. 14. It is the only time the agency has ordered a restaurant's closure over a mandate violation, officials told the Post.

1 hour ago - World

Israel to approve new construction in West Bank settlements

Bennett (L) and Biden discussed the settlements issue. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty

Israel will approve the construction of 4,400 new homes in the West Bank next week: 3,10o in the Jewish settlements and 1,300 in Palestinian villages.

Why it matters: This will be the first time Israel has approved new settlement building since President Biden assumed office, and it's the first time since 2007 that it approves a significant number of new homes for Palestinians in "Area C" of the West Bank, which is controlled by Israel.

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