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Progress towards 90-90-90 targets is promising, but funding is the critical step, says UNAIDS leader
Keith Alcorn, 2016-07-18 21:30:00

The 90-90-90 targets for testing, treatment and viral suppression are achievable by 2020 in many high-burden countries, but donor retreat is now the biggest threat to widespread success, delegates at the UN 90-90-90 Target workshop ahead of the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) in Durban agreed yesterday.

The 90-90-90 target – 90% of people with HIV diagnosed, 90% of diagnosed people on treatment and 90% of treated people with fully suppressed viral load by 2020 – is intended to galvanise national and global action to control HIV and end the AIDS epidemic by 2030. The target was endorsed by national governments at a UN High Level Meeting on Ending AIDS in New York in June 2016 and now forms the framework for the global HIV response.

A new progress report on the 90-90-90 targets issued by UNAIDS on Sunday shows:

  • Worldwide, 17 million were receiving treatment in 2015, almost double the number treated in 2011.
  • Worldwide, 57% of people living with HIV are estimated to know their status, 46% of all people living with HIV are on treatment and 38% are virally supressed. Across the cascade as a whole, Eastern and Southern Africa (56%, 54%, 45%) and Western and Central Europe and North America (86%, 59%, 47%) are doing best.
  • High rates of diagnosis in Latin America, Asia and Western and Central Europe and North America are not translating into high rates of treatment initiation or viral suppression. Treatment access and early initiation remain big challenges for these regions.
  • Eastern Europe and Central Asia and Western and Central Africa are falling far behind other regions. Without major changes in the ways that testing and treatment are delivered in these regions, and without substantial commitment of resources, the global 90-90-90 target is not achievable and high rates of AIDS diagnoses and deaths will continue.
  • The funding required to achieve the global targets will peak at $19.3 billion in 2017, declining to $18 billion a year by 2020. Donor contributions for HIV actually fell in 2015, by $600 million.