The Russian Minister of Health, Veronika Skvortsova, has reiterated the commitment to reach the targets agreed at the 2016 United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS.
“We have to provide every person living with HIV with quick access to the correct treatment. The Ministry of Health plans to increase the coverage of people living with HIV who know their status on antiretroviral therapy to 75% by 2019, and by 2020 the figure should reach 90%,” said Ms Skvortsova at the 28th meeting of the Health Council of the Commonwealth of Independent States, held in Saransk, Russian Federation, on 4 September 2018.
In 2018, the Russian Federation reported for the first time on national progress towards the 90–90–90 targets—in 2017, 81% of people living with HIV in the Russian Federation knew their status, 45% who knew their status were on treatment and 75% who were on treatment were virally suppressed.
In order to improve strategic information and build evidence for decision-making at the local level, the Russian Ministry of Health recently conducted a workshop on HIV estimates for representatives of 10 Russian regions. Regional experts were trained on modelling HIV estimates, which will help to ensure a more complete picture of the number of people living with HIV and of the 90–90–90 targets at the subnational level.
Eastern Europe and central Asia is the only region in which the numbers of new HIV infections and AIDS-related death are still on the rise. At the end of 2017, the number of new HIV infections in the region reached 130 000. At the end of 2017, it was estimated that the 90–90–90 cascade in the region was 73%, 50% and 72%.
“The Russian Minister of Health’s statement is another important step in a series of consistent actions undertaken by the Government of the Russian Federation to accelerate the country’s Fast-Track approach to reach 90–90–90 by 2020,” said Vinay P. Saldanha, Director of the Regional Support Team for Eastern Europe and Central Asia.