Aberdeen City Council have today voted unanimously to sign the Paris Agreement, and Aberdeen has become the second city in Scotland to commit to ending the HIV epidemic by 2030.
The Fast Track Cities Initiative is an international programme to help achieve and maintain the UN 90-90-90 targets:
· 90% of all people living with HIV knowing their status
· 90% of those that know their status being on anti-retroviral drugs
· 90% of those on anti-retroviral drugs having an undetectable viral load and thus being unable to pass the virus
In addition to the 90-90-90 targets the Paris Agreement commits cities to reduce HIV-related stigma to zero.
In proposing the motion, Councillor Sarah Duncan spoke about the “myths and stigma” that continue to surround HIV and the need to tackle them. She also spoke of the importance of tackling late diagnoses in Aberdeen.
HIV Scotland, leading on the project in Scotland, welcomed the news. The Chief Executive, Nathan Sparling, said:“It’s great news that Aberdeen will be Scotland’s second city committed to ending the HIV epidemic by 2030, and another step toward our goal to make Scotland the first country in the world where all of our cities are signed up to this global initiative.
“Ending HIV-related stigma is the most important part of the initiative. Stigma contributes to high rates of late diagnoses, which in turn impacts on the health of people living with HIV. With swift access to testing and treatment, people living with HIV live long, healthy lives and can’t pass the virus on to others.
“We’ve been delighted to be work with Our Positive Voice Grampian; their determination to challenge stigma and get to zero is something to be admired.”