GAIA Targets Key Populations to Reach 90-90-90
Happy new year! 2019 is a pivotal year for organizations like GAIA that are working to end HIV as an epidemic. As you may know, UNAIDS has set targets—90% of people living with HIV know their status; 90% of those are on treatment; and 90% of those are virally suppressed, or noninfectious—which if met by 2020, will break the epidemic for good within a decade. At this time last year, the primary focus where we work was on the first 90: getting people tested. Through our programs, we have made great strides in that regard, which correlate to the latest data showing that Malawi is very close to achieving the first 90! Impressively, national progress has also been made in the second two 90s, both achieving 80% or better.
GAIA’s core programs continue to aid progress toward 90-90-90. Both our Nursing Scholarship Program, which contributes significantly to Malawi’s healthcare workforce—500 new nurses and counting!—and the Mobile Health Clinics, which brought critical health care to nearly 300,000 villagers last year, improve Malawi’s ability to respond to the epidemic. And as we continue to search for the remaining undetected cases among key populations, we are redoubling efforts toward the second two 90s (linkage to care and follow up). As part of this effort, we are strategically responding to changes in the epidemic with innovative approaches, including targeted testing, treatment follow-up, and prevention programs for youth. We’ll be sharing more about the specifics of our new approaches in the coming months. Stay tuned!
And, as always, thank you for your support. Once unthinkable milestones are on the horizon—2020 is around the corner—and it is an exciting time indeed!
Todd Schafer Executive Director