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ST. LOUIS AMERICAN: St. Louis joins ‘Fast-Track’ to end AIDS

St. Louis joins ‘Fast-Track’ to end AIDS: Initiative was launched on World AIDS Day 2014 in Paris

The City of St. Louis is getting on the fast track to end the AIDS epidemic. The Fast-Track Cities Paris Declaration is a commitment by cities to reach 90–90–90 targets of 90 percent of people living with HIV knowing their HIV status, 90 percent of people who know their HIV-positive status accessing treatment, and 90 percent of people on treatment having suppressed viral loads.

“St. Louis becoming a Fast-Track City demonstrates a commitment of government leaders to leverage regional resources and critical scientific advances in HIV prevention and the continuum of care, coordinate efforts across the local public health system, reduce stigma associated with sexual health screening and prevention of sexually transmitted infections, and implement evidence-informed culturally sensitive activities necessary to end the  HIV epidemic,” said Fredrick L. Echols, M.D., director of Health for the City of St. Louis.

Mayor Lyda Krewson will sign the Fast-Track Cities Paris Declaration to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 on Sunday, December 1, joined by representatives from the St. Louis County Executive Office, International Association of Providers of AIDS Care, City of St. Louis Department of Health, Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, Williamson and Associates, Doorways, Saint Louis Effort for Aids, and the St. Louis Regional HIV Health Service Planning Council.

“We can only address the AIDS epidemic effectively if we work together,” said St. Louis County Executive Sam Page, who is an anesthesiologist. “We look forward to working with the City to move St. Louis toward better public health for all our residents.”

Data from the end of 2017 reports 6,230 people were living with HIV disease (HIV/AIDS) in the St. Louis region, with more than 3,400 of those persons (55 percent) living in the City of St. Louis and more than 2,300 (37 percent) living in St Louis County.

“St. Louis will benefit from the collective best practices and lessons learned from a network of more than 300 Fast-Track Cities and other municipalities that are working in solidarity to end urban HIV epidemics by 2030,” said Dr. José M. Zuniga, president/CEO of the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC), which is the core technical partner of the Fast-Track Cities initiative.

Fast-Track Cities is a global partnership between almost 300 cities and municipalities, IAPAC, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, and the City of Paris that are collaborating to reach zero new HIV infections, zero AIDS-related deaths, and zero HIV-related stigma/discrimination. The initiative was launched on World AIDS Day 2014 in Paris.

For more information, visit https://www.iapac.org/fast-track-cities/about-fast-track/.

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