By Becky John
Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) says it will suppress HIV by 2020. This is contained in a statement issued by Charles-Martin Jjuuko, Communication and Global Outreach Officer, UNAIDS Nigeria, on Thursday in Abuja. A copy of the statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) said UNAIDS had organised a one-day seminar on suppression of the disease under the new model 90-90-90.
The new model was launched at the 20th International AIDS Conference held in July 2014, in Melbourne, Australia. Under the programme, more people would get counselled, tested and place on treatment in Nigeria, the statement explained. According to the statement, the acronym 90-90-90 stands for “90 per cent of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status;
“90 per cent of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy.
“90 per cent of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral load suppression’’.
It said the workshop would allow the people left behind and stakeholders supporting the HIV response to share ideas on innovative ways of getting more people counselled, tested and placed on treatment in Nigeria.
The statement said another special workshop would be held for Nigerian adolescents on the 90-90-90 target, adding that adolescents are a major group left behind by the national HIV response.
The statement also quoted Dr Bilali Camara, UNAIDS Country Director for Nigeria, as saying that “the workshop is to give the target a triple role’’.
“Meaningful role in ensuring that they understand, they own and they drive the achievement of the 90-90-90 target by 2020.
“This is the only way that will put Nigeria on the path of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030,” he said.
Participants at the workshop include representatives of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and the National AIDS and STI Control Programme (NASCP). Others were the Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (NEPWHAN), civil society organizations, United Nations agencies and development partners supporting the HIV response in Nigeria.