London has joined the international Fast-Track Cities initiative to ‘Get London to Zero’ HIV by 2030. London is currently the best city in the world for HIV detection and treatment, with 95% of people with HIV diagnosed, 98% of those on treatment and 97% of treated individuals with undetectable virus. From 9-11 September, the city hosted the first international Fast-Track Cities HIV conference.
The Fast-Track Cities initiative is a global partnership between cities around the world and the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), and the City of Paris.
It was originally focused on the 90-90-90 targets, but these are now seen as the starting point towards getting to zero new HIV infections and zero AIDS-related deaths. Achieving zero stigma is the fourth target.
“While we are already seeing new infections decrease as a result of achieving the 90/90/90 goals, there is still much to do in challenging public misconceptions and judgments about HIV,” said Garry Brough, chair of the UK Community Advisory Board. “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.”