Leaders signed a crucial pledge to end the global AIDS epidemic in cities by 2030 in a final The Independent and Evening Standardcampaign without AIDS.
In a statement signed yesterday during a ceremony at the Global AIDS Free Cities Forum, they agreed to "work to get zero HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths."
They reaffirmed their commitment to "mobilize resources," "address the causes," and "unite as leaders" to end AIDS in their cities and meet United Nations targets 90:90:90.
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These are aimed at getting at least 90 percent of people with HIV aware of their condition, 90 percent of them on treatment, and 90 percent of people treated have an "undetectable viral load" – where blood virus levels are so low which can not be passed.
Signatories included Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, County Commissioner Robb Pitts of Atlanta, Tim Martineau of UNAIDS, and Jose Zuniga, president of the International Association of AIDS Care Providers. Representatives from London also signed, along with Anne Aslett, executive director of the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
Sonko said: "This is our commitment as leaders to ensure that there is no longer a spread of AIDS by 2030. Leaders in various cities have to show our commitment in the strongest way." Mr Pitts said, "Signing the statement is a demonstration of a compromise. [appeal] disseminated knowledge, informed the public and we are interacting with the people involved. You can discover things that other people are doing … and it is this exchange of ideas that is so important. "
Greater London Authority chief health officer Vicky Hobart said: "It's great to see so many partners in London committed to what we're trying to do … London is in a great position to be able to collaborate, as well as to learn from other cities. "
Earlier, Health Secretary Matt Hancock had pledged the government to end new HIV transmissions not only in London but throughout England by 2030.
Secretary of International Development Penny Mordaunt told the forum: "While the world has made great strides in combating HIV and AIDS, we need to intensify our efforts. The scale of our ambition is clear, we all passionately believe that we can create a future without AIDS for the world, and I know we are going. "
The one-day forum featured international experts talking about issues such as combined prevention such as PrEP and self-testing, HIV in the transgender community and drug users, and the use of data and analysis to help the most disadvantaged the epidemic.
The Independent and Evening StandardThe AIDS-free campaign, launched in December, ends on Friday. He told the stories of people living with HIV around the world and shared expert commentary on medical developments. All funds raised will go to programs supported by the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
The event's findings will be used to help plan the first ever Fast-Track Cities global conference at the Barbican in September. Supported by the London mayor, it will bring together 250 cities working to accelerate responses to diseases, including HIV and tuberculosis.
Zuniga, who will organize the conference, welcomed what was achieved yesterday: "This forum allows us to celebrate [the cities’] successes, but also to speak frankly about the challenges we face … Let's take the lessons learned from this forum and bring them to other cities. "
Paul Stoffels, vice president of Johnson & Johnson, who sponsored the forum, said: "No organization, government or NGO can win the fight against HIV … it requires collaboration, sustained effort and increased resources, a truly global effort … I am optimistic that with continued innovation and the types of collaboration we have seen here, we can achieve that goal. "
The money raised from public donations through the AIDS-free appeal will be used to support Elton John AIDS Foundation projects in six key cities around the world (London, Nairobi, Atlanta, Kiev, Delhi and Maputo). Through the UK Aid Match, the UK government will double public donations of up to £ 2 million to be spent on projects in Maputo and Nairobi.