You’ve probably heard the buzz – UNAIDS has launched a global initiative to scale up HIV testing among young people – the 90-90-90 initiative. But what does this mean? This means by 2020, we need to work towards having:
- 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status. According to UNAIDS, unfortunately only an estimated 45% of people living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa know their status. This is not nearly enough. By knowing your status, young people can access appropriate treatment to manage the virus and obtain safer practices to prevent it from spreading to others.
- 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infections will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy. With high treatment coverage levels, individuals testing positive for HIV will need to have access to appropriate treatment and counseling. As part of this initiative, countries will need to have more accessible HIV treatment and care, such as diagnostic tests and other treatment-related items. Making it free to individuals will help encourage young people to ensure they have the adequate treatment.
- 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression. This means having less of the HIV virus particles in your blood. HIV Antiviral treatment helps control and decrease these levels so you are living healthily with the virus. To do this, you must take your treatment and go to the clinic regularly to ensure you are monitoring it safely. Part of this target will include ensuring clinics and health facilities will have improved access to viral load testing technologies and eliminate barriers that could stop a young person from getting access to treatment such as cost, stigma, age constraints and geographical distance.
Aligning with the Eastern and Southern African (ESA) Commitment, these ambitious targets on HIV treatment is part of a global strategy to fast track the end of the AIDS epidemic by 2030.
Do you know your own status?
To learn more about the initiative go to: http://www.unaids.org/sites/default/files/media_asset/90-90-90_en_0.pdf