Researchers pushing for HIV elimination by 2030

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Researchers and healthcare professionals are pushing to eliminate HIV in The Bahamas by 2030, according to Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands yesterday.

“We believe with an aggressive approach in diagnosis and treatment in the so called 90-90-90 goal that we should be able to get by HIV elimination by 2030,” Sands said.

The 90-90-90 goal proposes that by 2020, 90 percent of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status; 90 percent of all people diagnosed with HIV will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy; and of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression.

According to the minister, health officials have made tremendous progress in limiting the number of persons infected annually.

However, despite progress on the issue, Sands acknowledged there remains a long way to go.

“We are nowhere near that right now,” the minister said.

“We have made tremendous progress in terms of the number of persons infected annually.

“We need to get to a point where the scourge of HIV is eliminated from the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

“This is something that requires a non-judgmental conversation.

“Do you know your status or your partners status…?”

The ‘Global AIDS Monitoring Report: 2017’ revealed that at the end of 2015, there were over 8,600 people listed as HIV-positive in The Bahamas, meaning at the time, approximately one in every 50 people in the nation were living with the autoimmune disease.

National HIV testing Day takes place annually June 29.

HIV tests are offered at the HIV-AIDS Centre without cost.