You may not have heard of Fast-Track Cities but it is an initiative being taken up by cities across the world. As the name implies, it is about fast-tracking – specifically fast-tracking local responses to HIV and AIDS.
Fast-Track Cities was established by the United Nations on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), UN-HABITAT, the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care and the City of Paris in 2014. Since then, more than 50 cities in every region of the world have signed the Paris Declaration to accelerate responses to HIV.
In 2015, the Minister for Health, Jill Hennessy, and the City of Melbourne's Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle, announced that Melbourne would become Australia’s first Fast Track City.
As a Fast-Track City, Melbourne is committed to seven objectives:
- Virtually eliminating new HIV infections by 2030 and reaching ambitious goals by 2020
- Putting people at the centre of the response
- Addressing the causes of risk, vulnerability and HIV transmission
- Using the city response for positive social transformation and building societies that are equitable, inclusive, responsive, resilient and sustainable
- Building and accelerating an appropriate response to local needs
- Mobilising resources for integrated public health and development
- Uniting as leaders, working inclusively and reporting annually on progress.
The goal of Fast-Track Cities is to attain 90-90-90: 90% of people who are HIV positive know their status, 90% of people who are HIV positive are on treatments, and 90% of people on HIV treatments have an undetectable viral load. Targets have also been set at zero for stigma and discrimination.
The landmark Fast-Track Cities Global Web Portal has also been launched to track progress. The web portal is gradually adding city dashboards to identify and understand the challenges in the HIV care continuum and track progress against the 90-90-90 targets. Melbourne’s dashboard will be launched later in 2016.
Find out more about Fast-Track Cities here and watch this space for more information on how your organisation may play a role in fast-tracking the elimination of new HIV infections in Melbourne.
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