Sweden Becomes First Country to Hit Major HIV Milestone

Today, it was announced that Sweden became the first country in the world to reach the United Nation’s 90-90-90 goals, a major hallmark in the fight to end the global HIV and AIDS epidemic. The goals refer to an ambitious target first set in 2014 that calls on each country to ensure that by 2020, 90 percent of all people living with HIV know their HIV status, that 90 percent of all people diagnosed with HIV are on sustained treatment, and that 90 percent of all people on sustained treatment achieve viral suppression.

According to Gay Star News, reports of Sweden’s success was published in HIV Medicine. At the end of 2015, it appears that 90 percent of Swedes living with HIV had been diagnosed, 99.8 percent of them had successfully started treatment, and that 95 percent of those on treatment were virally suppressed (i.e., “undetectable”). That last point is important because research confirms that people living with HIV who achieve viral suppression cannot transmit the virus to a partner.

The United States is still far from meeting this goal.  Of the 1.2 million Americans living with HIV in 2011, CDC data showed that 40 percent were engaged in care, 37 percent were on treatment and 30 percent had achieved viral suppression. In other words, only three out of 10 Americans living with HIV in 2011 had the virus under control.

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