South Africa still has four critical gaps to fill before it sees the end of AIDS

South Africa has the largest number of people living with HIV in the world. It accounts for up to one third of new HIV infections globally.

In 2016 there were an estimated 7.1 million people living with HIV. In the same year close to 10 million people were tested for HIV.

But huge strides are being made in line with the country adopting the UNAIDS’ 90-90-90 strategy. Under the plan the aim is for:

• 90% of all HIV positive people to know their HIV status

• 90% of people who know their HIV status to be on treatment, and

• 90% of those on treatment to have suppressed viral loads by 2020. Viral suppression is when a person’s viral load – or the amount of virus in an HIV-positive person’s blood – is reduced to an undetectable level.

South Africa has made tremendous progress towards meeting the 90-90-90 targets. In 2016, South Africa’s National Aids Council estimated that 86% of all HIV positive people in the country knew their HIV status, 65% of the those who knew their HIV status were taking antiretroviral therapy and 85% of those taking antiretroviral therapy were virally suppressed.

To complete the last leg South Africa has four important things to do. It must address the gaps in HIV testing; it must start people on antiretroviral treatment and make sure that they remain on it; it must ensure that people maintain virological suppression and, lastly, it must strengthen its strategies around prevention. Read more via Mamba Online