3 August 2017

City signs up to international HIV initiative

The council has today signed an international commitment to work towards eradicating HIV as a public health threat.

The Leader of the Council, Cllr Warren Morgan and the Mayor of Brighton & Hove, Cllr Mo Marsh, signed the Paris Declaration on Fast Track Cities Ending AIDS at a gathering at the Mayor’s Parlour in honour of the historic occasion.

Brighton & Hove is the first UK city to commit to the Fast Track Cities’ Paris Declaration. First launched on World AIDS Day in 2014, the Fast Track Cities initiative has gained support from more than 70 cities around the world.

Joining the initiative provides access to the excellent resources of the international Fast Track Cities team.  This will help to better understand where we need to concentrate our efforts at a local level.

This city has the highest number of people diagnosed with HIV outside of London. In 2015, the most recent year we have figures for, NHS records show almost 1,700 Brighton & Hove residents used HIV treatment services.

The majority of people living with HIV in Brighton & Hove are likely to have acquired the infection through sex between men. While infections remain high locally, the good news is clinic data shows a significant reduction in new diagnoses over the last four years. This trend is due to a combination of improvements.

More testing is reducing the time between infection and diagnosis, which means people are less likely to transmit the infection unknowingly. Also people with HIV are starting treatment earlier and are less infectious as a result. The proportion of HIV infection diagnosed late is 29% in Brighton and Hove compared to 40% in England. 

Over the last thirty years there has been incredible progress in the diagnosis and treatment of people living with HIV.

People diagnosed early with HIV can now expect to have a near normal life expectancy. This is mainly thanks to improvements made in preventing transmission, prompt diagnosis and effective treatments.

Signing the Paris Declaration shows a commitment to stop all new HIV infections and avert AIDS-related deaths.

The declaration includes a pledge “to end the AIDS epidemic in cities by 2030” and commits the city to achieving the “90-90-90” targets by 2020.

The 90-90-90 targets are:

  • 90% of people living with HIV to be aware of their status
  • 90% of people who know they’re HIV positive to be on treatment
  • and 90% of people on treatment to have an undetectable viral load, at which point there’s a better chance of having a healthier and longer life  

More information

A link to a downloadable version of the Paris Declaration is available on the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care (IAPAC) website

(Photo credit www.mybrightonandhove.org.uk)