The pandemic response has “cut off millions of girls from school, and driven up poverty, gender-based violence and human rights violations”, it said.
These factors are shown to increase people’s risks of acquiring HIV or of developing Aids, as well as the steep increase in rates of adolescent pregnancy seen in recent months.
The Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria has also warned that HIV testing falling by some 41 percent across 502 health facilities in Africa and Asia during the pandemic.
The letter warns: “At its peak, the AIDS pandemic slashed life expectancy in some countries by 20 years and killed off a generation of people at their most productive age, claiming 35 million lives, leaving millions of children orphaned and devastating national economies.
“Combined with the COVID-19 crisis, a resurgent AIDS emergency could be catastrophic.”