Does 90-90-90 mean anything to you? If yes, you’re probably working in the HIV and Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights sector. 90-90-90 refers to the ambitious global 2020 UNAIDS Fast Track targets for HIV. 90% of all people living with HIV should know their status, 90% of those should be following HIV treatment programmes, and then 90% of those on treatment should be virally suppressed, meaning the level of HIV in their bodies is so low it cannot be passed on to anyone else.
The key to the first 90 is to get everyone tested for HIV, particularly those considered Most At Risk, for example Adolescent Girls and Young Women, Commercial Sex Workers and Men Who Have Sex With Men. This is why we have programmes focussed on these groups alongside our more general HIV/SRHR programmes.
In Kenya with our partners Moving The Goalposts (MTG) and funded by Manchester City’s Cityzens Giving programme, we are working with around 80 female coaches, and reaching over 3,000 adolescent girls and young women with testing services. In Zambia, a pilot programme is seeing how we can better attract Commercial Sex Workers to testing services, creating a judgement-free and welcoming environment with free testing on offer. And in Uganda through our partnership with PITCH and Frontline AIDS, we recently completed a programme that sought to attract young members of the LGBTQ community by using LGBTQ HIV testers and counsellors. In Uganda, as in many countries, people who are LGBTQ face considerable stigma and even arrest. On our programme, knowing that a sympathetic and youth-friendly counsellor was on hand to walk you through the testing process without judgement meant we could attract higher numbers and offer services for free to this community. At some testing outreaches, 12% of those tested were positive (far higher than the Uganda national average) and all of them were immediately referred for care and treatment.
If you’d like to know more about our work, visit https://tackleafrica.org/what-we-do/