(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality has joined the international “90-90-90 Project” to fight HIV infection in the city.
The project was joined by Mayor Ron Huldai when he signed the Paris Declaration. It aims to identify 90% of AIDS virus carriers; get 90% of those screened patients to take the drug cocktail that turns HIV from a fatal disease into merely a chronic one; and ensure that 90% of those treated carriers reach a point at which the virus is undetectable in their blood.
The mayor gave his signature to the project last Thursday in the presence of the president of the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care, Dr. José M. Zuniga, along with representatives from the Israel Aids Task Force, the Society for AIDS Medicine, the LGBT Society and the AIDS Center at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center.
Tel Aviv thus joins 26 other cities around the world, including Amsterdam, Paris, San Francisco, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires and Johannesburg, involved in the effort. The project focuses on large cities, with the understanding that without the mobilization of the world’s largest urban centers (alongside governments, research and medical bodies, and civil society organizations), the struggle to eradicate AIDS will not be complete.
The project, launched in 2014 at the initiative of the World AIDS Organization, was also adopted by the UN AIDS Task Force. The project organizers intend to implement the vision of 90-90-90 by 2030. Of the total number of people in the world who have been diagnosed as positive for HIV, 90% do not currently receive medication.
The municipality has been working for many years to eradicate AIDS
among its (mostly foreign) residents by supporting and participating in the campaign, allocating sites that serve as testing centers, and assisting significantly in holding an event that takes place during Gay Pride Week.
About 64% of the Israeli population has never been tested for HIV. The partners involved in promoting the program in Israel will join forces with the municipality to establish a think tank for promoting HIV treatment and reducing stigma attached to the disease.
Dr. Yuval Livnat, director-general of the Israel AIDS Task Force, said his organization was pleased that the municipality had joined the effort. “Through the connection of civil society to national and local authorities, we will be able to eradicate HIV/AIDS and reach the goal of 90-90-90. The Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality has already demonstrated its commitment to eradicate AIDS by assisting two AIDS testing centers in the city.”
Yaniv Weizman, a member of the Tel Aviv-Jaffa City Council and holder of the gay pride portfolio, emphasized that the struggle to eradicate HIV crosses geographical and gender boundaries. The goal, he said, was to make the city a “beacon of liberalism and a safe haven for every human being.”
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