Medical practitioners team up to support ambitious HIV treatment target
Over 20 medical doctors from a range of specialisations gathered in Abuja, Nigeria, last Friday, participated in a sensitisation workshop on the UNAIDS treatment target – the 90-90-90.
The doctors from the Nigerian Medical Association(NMA) and the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors(NARD) listened to presentations by facilitators from UNAIDS and UNICEF on the ambitious treatment target and shared their views on how best to fast-track and achieve it by 2020. The workshop organised by UNAIDS and the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) was geared to sensitise participants on the treatment target which aims at ensuring that, by the year 2020, 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; and 90 per cent of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral load suppression. “Unless medical practitioners are fully engaged and take ownership of the 90-90-90 target, it will be difficult to attain.
They need to be in the driver’s seat for this process of testing, treating and retaining people on treatment to happen. When health care providers own the target, its success will be guaranteed in Nigeria,” said Dr Bilali Camara, UNAIDS Country Director for Nigeria and UNAIDS Focal Point for Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The 90-90-90 treatment target was launched at a high-level political session of the 20th International AIDS Conference held in July 2014 in Melbourne, Australia, when the UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibé, called for a new set of treatment targets by 2020. This is the third workshop of its kind in Nigeria.
A similar workshop involving vulnerable women and girls took place in March this year, followed by another held in May for journalists and people living with HIV. NACA, UNAIDS and UNICEF facilitated the workshop. The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations—UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank—and works closely with global and national partners to maximize results for the AIDS response.
This story was published in Newswatch Times on June 18, 2015.