Nepal has committed to bring down cases of AIDS in the country to nil by 2030 and seek strategic partnership within the region and beyond to achieve that goal, according to a press statement issued by UNAIDS on Friday.
At a meeting convened by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP) this week in Bangkok to discuss bold actions that countries in this region need to take to wipe out AIDS by 2030, Nepal presented its strategy on “Ending AIDS by 2030”.
As per the strategy, the government will conduct HIV tests on 90 percent of its population by 2020.
“Among the 90 percent, those who test positive will be given treatment for viral load suppression so that they are healthy and less likely to transmit HIV to others,” reads the statement presented by Dr Chandra Mohan Yadav, a member of the Constituent Assembly (CA), at the meeting.
On the sidelines of this inter-governmental meeting, secretary at the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP), Shanta Bahadur Shrestha, met with Michel Sidibé, under-secretary general of the United Nations and UNAIDS executive director.
Secretary Shrestha said that the country is prioritizing strategic and innovative approaches to drastically scale-up HIV testing, and provide anti-retroviral treatment, with a special focus on key populations. He also informed Sidibé about the MoHP’s decision to upgrade all sub-health posts to health posts with qualified personnel who will bring HIV testing closer to more people, including pregnant women. He also said that community-led HIV testing will further drive Nepal’s “test, treat and retain” program.
Sidibé urged Nepal to follow the example of other countries in the region and allocate a greater proportion of domestic financial resources to HIV and to improve programmatic effectiveness by investing in high-impact activities for key populations in cities and geographical areas with the highest HIV burden.