UNAIDS Officials Urge Fast Track Strategy For AIDS Response

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HIV virus.
HIV virus.

Officials with UNAIDS are urging countries to further accelerate their response to HIV using a fast-track strategy, which involves front-loading investments in AIDS response to reach an ambitious 90—90—90 treatment target by 2020. 

Reaching this target would see 90% of people living with HIV knowing their HIV status, 90% of people who know their HIV-positive status accessing treatment and 90% of people on treatment having suppressed viral loads by 2020, according to UNAIDS officials speaking at the 18th International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa, taking place this week in  Harare, Zimbabwe. 

Reaching these targets could reduce new HIV infections by 75%, by concentrating resources in locations with those populations at higher risk for HIV, according to a press statement from UNAIDS. 

The conference is taking place against a backdrop of great progress in the response to HIV, even though many challenges remain. Worldwide, 15.8 million people now have access to life-saving antiretroviral medicines, with more than 10 million people in sub-Saharan Africa accessing treatment. 

Based on the increased weight of scientific evidence concerning earlier treatment, the World Health Organization has released new guidance recommending that people be offered access to antiretroviral medicines as soon as possible after their HIV diagnosis regardless of their CD4 count.

Reference

1. Michel Sidibé  M. Opening Ceremony. Presented at: 18th International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa. November 29-Dec. 4. Harare, Zimbabwe.

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