Taguig City Mayor Cayetano stepping up HIV Prevention and Control, with UNAIDS-Geneva
Geneva, Switzerland – Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano, already a champion of the drive to promote Awareness, Prevention and Control of HIV, pushed the initiative further for the sake of her constituents in Taguig, and in her capacity as Chair of the League of Cities, during her meeting with the Fast Track Implementation Department of UNAIDS-Geneva, on 26 February 2018.
Mayor Cayetano was briefed by Dr. Gang Sun, Senior Adviser-Fast-track Country Support and his colleagues from the Fast Track Implementation Department. Cities bear a large share of the global HIV burden, according to UNAIDS. In places with large HIV epidemics, the numbers of people living with HIV (PLHIV) in urban areas are so high that effective city-level action is likely to influence national outcomes. This is true of dense cosmopolitan cities in the Philippines including Taguig City.
Mayor Cayetano cited the importance of improving monitoring and tracking, because as more people are tested, the sooner they gain awareness of their HIV status, and seek appropriate treatment and therapy. Taguig City has advocated for HIV prevention for some time, partnering with UNAIDS Philippines to launch multi-sectoral coalitions such as the Love Gala, consisting of HIV and AIDS advocacy groups, government agencies, businesses, media agencies, and socio-civic partners united in stopping the spread of HIV and ending the AIDS epidemic in the Philippines.
As Mayor of Taguig and as Chair of the League of Cities, Mayor Cayetano said that she hopes to encourage Mayors around the country to consider working with UNAIDS to localize in their public health programs the fast track implementation of HIV prevention and control goals.
The Fast Track Cities programme of UNAIDS is a global partnership between the City of Paris, International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC), the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), and the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat), in collaboration with local, national, regional, and international partners and stakeholders. The initiative focuses on translating global goals, objectives, and targets into local implementation plans, to build upon, strengthen, and leverage existing HIV-specific and -related programs and resources. The overall goal is to: a) attain 90-90-90 targets (ensure that at least 90% of PLHIV (People Living with HIV) know their status; improve access to ART (Anti-Retroviral Therapy) for PLHIV to 90%; b) increase to 90% the proportion of PLHIV on ART with undetectable viral load); increase utilization of combination HIV prevention services; reduce to zero the negative impact of stigma and discrimination; c) establish a common, web-based platform to allow for real-time monitoring of progress.
The Fast Track Cities initiative was launched on World AIDS Day 2014 in Paris, where mayors from 27 cities in over 50 countries convened to sign the Paris Declaration on Fast-Track Cities committing to accelerate and scale-up their local AIDS responses. Since then the number of cities that have joined the initiative has grown to 250. ###