New York City has reached significant milestones in the diagnosis and treatment of HIV, two years ahead of the global target.
Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced that the city has achieved the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets of 90% of people with HIV being aware of their status, 90% of people living with HIV receiving treatment, and 90% of those on treatment being virally suppressed (having an undetectable viral load, meaning transmission is impossible).
According to figures for 2018, 93% of positive New Yorkers had been diagnosed, 90% were on treatment, and 92% of those on treatment were undetectable, Plus has reported.
“Years of hard work and determination has put New York front and centre in the global fight against HIV/AIDS,” said de Blasio.
“With more New Yorkers receiving treatment than ever, the day of zero diagnoses is closer than ever.”
Health Commissioner Dr Oxiris Barbot agreed that the city was on track to eliminating new cases of HIV.
“The roadmap to ending the epidemic includes celebrating healthy sexuality, making PrEP [pre-exposure prophylaxis] available for those who want it and fighting against the racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia that drive transmission,” said Dr Barbot.
“We will end this epidemic through unity, education and advocacy in partnership with activists.”
Around 37.9 million people worldwide are living with HIV, with research suggesting one in five are unaware of their status.
Australia is also well on the way to achieving the 90-90-90 goals.
Figures from 2017 show 89% of people living with HIV were diagnosed, 95% were accessing care (of whom 87% were on treatment), and 95% of those on treatment were undetectable.
Improved diagnosis and treatment of HIV are considered key to preventing new transmissions as well as optimising wellbeing for people living with the virus.
While HIV remains incurable for now, effective treatments and preventive medications are now widely accessible.
Medical centres, LGBTIQ health organisations, and state and territory HIV organisations can provide advice on pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), HIV testing, and treatment.