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11 January 2018, 10:33
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London joins global Fast-Track cities

London joins global Fast-Track cities - picture 1

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, today signed the Paris Declaration on Fast-Track cities Ending the AIDS Epidemic along with borough leaders, Public Health England and NHS England, Beyondpositive reports.

The Paris Declaration aims to stop all new HIV infections and avert AIDS-related deaths, including deaths caused by tuberculosis. To end stigma and discrimination. Every person in the Fast-Track cities must have access to life-saving HIV and tuberculosis prevention, treatment, care and support services.

Working together, cities can take local actions for global impact. Leveraging reach, infrastructure and human capacity, cities will build a more equitable, inclusive, prosperous and sustainable future for all residents—regardless of gender, age, social and economic status or sexual orientation.

By signing up to The Paris Declaration the Mayor of London is committing to:

  • Continue work to exceed the UN’s 90:90:90 HIV targets
  • End new HIV infections in the capital by 2030
  • Put a stop to HIV-related stigma and discrimination
  • Stop preventable deaths from HIV-related causes
  • Work to improve the health, quality of life and wellbeing of people living with HIV across the capital

London has already made great work towards achieving UN targets for the Fast-Track Cities initiative. Commenting on the significant achievement, Dr Valerie Delpech, Head of HIV Surveillance at PHE, said: "This year, there are 3 firsts in the 30-year history of the UK HIV epidemic. In London, all the global UNAIDS 90:90:90 targets have been met with 90% of people living with HIV infection diagnosed, 97% of people diagnosed receiving treatment and 97% of those receiving treatment virally suppressed. HIV transmission among gay and bisexual men has fallen, and the death rate among people with HIV who are diagnosed promptly and on treatment is now comparable to the rest of the population."

London is the third city to reach the 90:90:90 target – joining Amsterdam and Melbourne.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “By signing London up as a Fast-Track City, we are taking on the challenge to end new HIV infections in the capital by 2030. We must be ambitious, and I am confident that by working together we can achieve this goal. As well as putting an end to new infections, I am clear that HIV-related stigma and discrimination must end too. Improving the quality of life and wellbeing of those living with HIV in London is a priority for me, which is why I’m proud to sign this commitment today.”

Chair of the UK Community Advisory Board (UK-CAB), Garry Brough, said: “There is still much to do in challenging public misconceptions and judgements about HIV. These stigmatising beliefs can have a significant impact on the quality of life of people living with HIV, so eliminating stigma has the potential to not only improve psychological wellbeing, but to reduce anxieties about testing which result in late diagnoses and deaths. It is the key to supporting health and wellbeing and engaging that final 10 per cent so that we can get to zero by 2030.”

A spokesperson from the British HIV Association (BHIVA) said in a statment: “If we are to reach zero transmissions, HIV testing must be easily accessible for those who do not yet know that they are HIV positive, so that they can take life-saving treatment. Making testing accessible takes political will. BHIVA thanks the Mayor for making this commitment to equality in access to diagnosis.”

Author: Olga Moiseeva

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