Cities will determine the outcome of the fight to end Aids. Of the 35 million people living with HIV around the world, more than a quarter reside in urban hotspots affected by the pandemic. And in many major cities, over half of all people live without access to HIV prevention, testing, treatment and care.
Urban strategies and actions are central to ending the Aids epidemic by 2030. This goal is ambitious but achievable and necessary. Cities are already demonstrating leadership.
There have been seismic changes in cities like Amsterdam, Paris, London, New York, San Francisco and Vancouver – all are close to reaching the so-called 90–90–90 treatment targets: namely that by 2020, 90% of all people with HIV will know their status; 90% of those people will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy; and 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will maintain viral suppression.
Paris has made huge progress in this regard, in part by implementing a collective and inclusive strategy built on strong political leadership and years of active engagement in the HIV/Aids response.
Working hand-in-hand with the scientific community, clinicians, civil society organizations and key population representatives, the city of Paris has created a trusting environment with local actors committed to tackling the epidemic through innovative solutions. This includes pre-exposure treatment (PrEP), a once-a-day pill for people who are at high risk of acquiring HIV, and a range of testing tools, including self-tests.
About the authors: Anne Hidalgo is the mayor of Paris. She is a member of the governing Parti Socialist and was elected in March 2014. She was born in San Fernando, Spain, but grew up in France and holds dual nationality. Bill de Blasio is the public advocate for the city of New York and a 2013 mayoral candidate.
This article by Bill De Blasio and Anne Hidalgo previously appeared in The Guardian, where you can read the whole story.