Brighton and Hove first UK city to commit to eradicating HIV

Signing the Paris Declaration
Signing the Paris Declaration

Brighton and Hove City Council has this week signed an international commitment to work towards eradicating HIV as a public health threat.

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

The city has the highest number of people diagnosed with HIV outside of London, and in the most recent figures for 2015, records show almost 1,700 Brighton and Hove residents used HIV treatment services.

The council said while infections remain high locally, the good news is clinic data shows a significant reduction in new diagnoses over the last four years.

It also said 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 in the city are starting treatment earlier and are less infectious as a result. The proportion of HIV infection diagnosed late is 29 per cent in Brighton and Hove, compared to 40 per cent in England.

Making a commitment towards eradicating HIV as a public health threat, Cllr Warren Morgan, the leader of the council, and Cllr Mo Marsh, the Mayor of Brighton and Hove, signed the Paris Declaration on Fast Track Cities Ending AIDS at a gathering at the Mayor’s Parlour on Thursday (August 3).

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 that: 90 per cent of people living with HIV will be aware of their status; 90 per cent of people who know they’re HIV positive should be on treatment; and 90 per cent of people on treatment should have an undetectable viral load, at which point there’s a better chance of having a healthier and longer life .

The council said over the last 30 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, thanks to improvements made in preventing transmission, prompt diagnosis and effective treatments.

To find out more about the Paris Declaration, visit: www.iapac.org/cities