Zambia has launched its AIDS Response Fast-Track Strategy 2017–2021, which provides a road map to achieve the global Fast-Track prevention and 90–90–90 targets whereby 90% of people living with HIV know their HIV status, 90% of people who know their HIV-positive status are accessing treatment and 90% of people on treatment have suppressed viral loads.
Building on the results achieved so far, the strategy has three main objectives: establish clear approaches to accelerate the HIV response for everyone, including key populations; set yearly targets at the national and provincial levels; and estimate costs and the resources gap.
So far, the government’s commitment has had significant impact: new HIV infections have decreased from 69 000 in 2005 to 59 000 in 2016 and coverage of pregnant women receiving antiretroviral medicines to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV has increased to 87%. Efforts to reach the most vulnerable people are being made, and new national policies outline targets and strategies to intensify prevention services in all the 10 provinces of the country.
The strategy provides for specific facility-based and community-led programmes, such as accelerating HIV testing and counselling in districts with high HIV prevalence, targeting key populations and integrating testing with other health-care services.
The strategy will guarantee access to HIV treatment and care services and improve HIV testing services. One of the treatment goals emphasized in the strategy is the total elimination of new HIV infections among children.
The strategy was developed by a technical task team led by the National HIV/AIDS/STI/TB Council and UNAIDS.
“Prevention of new HIV infections is a national priority. The government is fully committed to scaling up combination prevention programmes that leave no one behind and to reach its targets by 2020, and ultimately eliminate new HIV infections by 2030.”
“I commend the Government of Zambia for its political commitment to increase access to HIV treatment. We all have a responsibility to reach the 90–90–90 targets, changing the course of the AIDS epidemic for good.”