Kazakhstan: ARVT is the way to zero new HIV infections
Republican Center on Prevention and Control of AIDS of Kazakhstan joined the campaign "Undetectable is Untransmittable" (U=U, UequalsU): "Сommitment to ARV therapy is the way to zero fear, zero stigma and zero new HIV infections", said Bauyrzhan Bayserkin, Director of the Center.
The government estimates that in 2016 more than 18 000 people were living with HIV in the country. Last year the First national conference on HIV in Kazakhstan took place at Almaty. “Kazakhstan is on track to be the first country in central Asia to achieve global treatment targets by 2020," said Vinay Saldanha, Director, UNAIDS Regional Support Team for Eastern Europe and Central Asia. “I am confident that the HIV epidemic in Kazakhstan can be stopped much earlier than 2030,” UN Secretary-General special envoy on HIV and AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia Michel Kazatchkine said.
A groundswell of research confirms that when a person living with HIV is on effective treatment, it will reduce the level of HIV to "undetectable" levels which protects their health and makes them incapable of transmitting HIV to their sexual partners, or what is called "Undetectable = Untransmittable: U=U". However very few people, except the experts, are aware about it in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region. The first Russian-language campaign "U=U" aims to inform as many people as possible.
"We’re thrilled about the launch of the UequalsU campaign for Eastern Europe and Central Asia region. It is very important to educate about HIV and fight HIV stigma especially in countries where transmissions continue to grow. This is an important step to ensure Russian speaking people living with HIV, healthcare providers and policymakers can get accurate information about how treatment keeps people with HIV healthy and stops new transmissions. This goes a long way toward eliminating the HIV stigma which has been one of the greatest challenges to ending the epidemic," said Bruce Richman, the founder and executive director of the Global U=U Campaign.
Within the framework of the campaign, regional professional organizations will join the Consensus Statement.