World leaders, including President Peter Mutharika and five other African presidents, on Thursday demonstrated how the Fast Track approach to ending Aids is working and positively impacting on health systems in their countries.
Fast Track is a strategy adopted to end Aids through treatment, reduction of new infections and elimination of discrimination.
This was revealed at a high-level side event called Fast Track: Quickening the Pace of Action to End Aids at the United Nations Headquarters in New York where the leaders told success stories attributed to the initiative.
During the event, Mutharika shared Malawi’s success story with the 90:90:90 initiative, an ambitious treatment target to help end Aids.
The 90:90:90 states that by the end of 2020, 90 percent of people living with HIV will be diagnosed, 90 percent of those diagnosed will be on antiretroviral therapy (ART) and maintained and finally that countries achieve viral suppression for 90 percent of people on ART.
“The progress we have made inspires the hope of ending Aids. In Malawi, 70 percent already know their status and 66 percent of people living with HIV are on treatment,” Mutharika said.
In his remarks, United Nations Programme on HIV and Aids (UNAids) executive director Michel Sidibe commended the six African countries for their commitments toward the Fast Track cause.
“When I visited Malawi, Zambia, Botswana and Uganda, these countries were at the epicentre of the Aids crisis. Many people said they would not be on the map of Africa.
“But today, these countries have shown that it is not about managing the epidemic, but how to control it,” he said. n