World must speed up AIDS fight to end scourge: UN

The world can end AIDS as a global health threat by 2030, but must bolster its efforts now or risk the virus spiralling back out of control, a UN report said Tuesday.

Introduced here by Michel Sidibe, executive director of UNAIDS, and South African actress Charlize Theron, the report calls for adoption of a new set of "fast-track" targets to counter the disease, with the of preventing some 21 million AIDS-related deaths.

"We have bent the trajectory of the epidemic," said Sidibe. "Now we have five years to break it for good or risk the epidemic rebounding out of control."

The proposed strategy employs a "90-90-90" formula as the goal for 2020: 90 percent of people with HIV knowing their HIV status; 90 percent who know their HIV-positive status on treatment; and 90 percent of those on treatment with suppressed viral loads.

The goal would then be stepped up to 95-95-95 by 2030, which if met would avert nearly 28 million new HIV infections, according to the study.

The fast-track strategy also aims to cut the annual number of new HIV infections by more than 75 percent to 500,000 in 2020 and then to 200,000 in 2030, while setting a target of zero discrimination against those with the virus by 2020.

Theron, a UN "messenger of peace" and head and founder of her own Africa Outreach Project, added: "When young people have access to quality HIV health and education options, they make smart choices for their futures.

"Let's make sure adolescents everywhere are empowered to be part of the solution to ending this ," she said. "Meeting UNAIDS fast-track targets will ensure no one is left behind."

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© 2014 AFP

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