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January 27, 2015

Focusing to Achieve a World Without AIDS

Author Affiliations
  • 1National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, Maryland
JAMA. 2015;313(4):357-358. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.17454

More than a decade ago, the global AIDS community was working toward what was considered at the time to be an audacious goal: “3 by 5” or initiating combination antiretroviral therapy (ART) for 3 million people by 2005. The rollout of ART to millions of people in poverty-stricken nations seemed extremely problematic, and many critics were concerned that the 3 by 5 goal was unrealistic. Today, an estimated 13.6 million people worldwide are receiving ART, 700 000 having initiated therapy over the past year alone—remarkable progress by any measure.1 Although much remains to be done to achieve universal global access to ART for all people with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the global AIDS community has set its sights on new, even more ambitious goals. Specifically, the new goals are the “90-90-90” targets: by 2020, 90% of all people living with HIV should know their HIV status, 90% of those who test positive for HIV should be provided therapy, and of those, 90% should achieve virologic suppression (levels of virus below those detectable by standard tests).1 Achieving these targets would be a major step toward a world without AIDS.

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