Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Nigeria: UNAIDS, Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) Partner On New HIV Treatment Target...

The new treatment target set by the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) to drastically reduced HIV/AIDS by year 2020 christened 90-90-90 has received the backing of medical doctors under the auspices of Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) and National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) in the country.

This is as the doctors converged for a sensitization workshop on the programme in Abuja, yesterday.

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.

The treatment target 90-90-90, according to the UNAIDS Country Director for Nigeria, Dr Bilali Camara, is aimed 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," Camara reiterated.

The workshop which was organized by the UNAIDS in partnership with the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) was highly attended by medical doctors from different fields of specialization drawn from different parts of the country.

Speaking with Daily Independent, one of the doctors who attended the workshop but preferred not to be named said: "This treatment target is very apt and very promising. With the full implementation of this programme, I believed the strength of HIV/AIDS will be drastically reduced."

It would be recalled that a similar workshop involving vulnerable women and girls took place in March this year, followed by another one held in the month of May for journalists and people living with HIV

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