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Columbia Business Monthly

Mayor Steve Benjamin To Sign The Paris Declaration To End AIDS Epidemic By 2030

Feb 07, 2019 12:04PM ● By Kathleen Maris

Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin will sign on to the Fast-Track Cities Paris Declaration to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 on Thursday, February 7 at 6 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall (1737 Main Street).

“The Paris Declaration highlights simple yet incredibly effective measures and practices that will allow us to achieve our goals as a city,” said Mayor Benjamin. “We look forward to playing a role in bettering the lives of our residents and improving the health outcomes of this community.”

The Fast-Track Cities Paris Declaration is a commitment by cities to achieve the 90-90-90 HIV treatment targets by 2020. These targets will rapidly reduce new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths and put cities, now to include Columbia, on the “fast track” to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030. Feb. 7, the date of the signing, is also National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.

The Declaration calls on cities to strengthen their local HIV/AIDS responses and meet a set of targets to significantly reduce new HIV infections and end-AIDS related deaths. These targets are to ensure that 90 percent of people living with HIV (PLHIV) will know their status, that 90 percent of all PLHIV will receive sustained anti-retroviral treatment, and that 90 percent of all PLHIV on anti-retroviral treatment will have durable viral suppression. 

“IAPAC welcomes Columbia to the global network of Fast-Track Cities committed to accelerating their local AIDS responses and placing affected communities at the center of efforts to get more people tested and linked to prevention and treatment services, as well as addressing barriers such as stigma related to HIV, mental health, substance use,” said Dr. José M. Zuniga, president/CEO of the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC), the core technical partner of the global Fast-Track Cities initiative. “By focusing our efforts in cities with high HIV rates across the United States and in the District of Columbia, the Fast-Track Cities initiative will save and enhance the lives of people living with and affected by HIV and contribute to the national goal of ending the domestic HIV epidemic by 2030.”

Fast-Track Cities is a global partnership between cities with an HIV burden and four core partners: the City of Paris, France, the first city to sign on; the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS); the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC); and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat).