A total of 28 mayors from cities heavily affected by HIV/AIDS recently signed a declaration in Paris to end the epidemic in their communities by 2030, according to a press release.
Part of the mayoral commitment is to achieve the so-called “90-90-90” targets, resulting in 90% of people with HIV being aware of their infection status, 90% of people with HIV receiving treatment for their disease, and 90% of people with HIV achieving suppressed viral loads by 2020.
Supported by the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC), UNAIDS and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), the Fast-Track Cities initiative will be carried out by city officials and other stakeholders to strengthen and accelerate local services for the prevention, testing and treatment of HIV/AIDS. IAPAC in particular will be assisting with the technical implementation of local strategies specifically tailored to reduce new HIV infections in those cities.
The mayors also declared to eliminate discrimination and stigmatization of people with HIV, both of which pose significant barriers to care.
According to an UNAIDS report released at the Paris event, the 200 cities most affected by the disease account for more than 25% of the 35 million people living with HIV worldwide. More than half the global population lives in urban areas, and that number is expected to increase to 60% by 2050.
“Ending the AIDS epidemic is achievable if the world’s major cities act immediately and decisively to fast-track their AIDS responses by 2020,” Michel Sidibé, executive director of UNAIDS, said in a press release. “A Fast-Track AIDS response in cities will also encourage new, cutting-edge service delivery programs that can pave the way for cities to address other public health challenges, including tuberculosis, sexual and reproductive health, maternal and child health, gender-based violence and noncommunicable diseases.”