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South Africa Aims to End AIDS by 2030

Update Date: Jul 25, 2016 01:47 PM EDT
SAFRICA-HEALTH-AIDS-CONFERENCE-DEMO
Aids activists protest during the closing ceremony of the 21st International AIDS conference at the International Convention Centre in Durban on July 22,2016. More than 18,000 scientists, campaigners and donors opened a major AIDS conference in South Africa on July 18, 2016, issuing stark warnings that recent gains in the fight against the disease were under threat. The five-day International AIDS Conference returns to Africa 16 years after Nelson Mandela galvanised the world to take up the fight against AIDS, describing it as 'one of the greatest threats humankind has faced'. / AFP / RAJESH JANTILAL (Photo credit should read RAJESH JANTILAL/AFP/Getty Images) (Photo : RAJESH JANTILAL/AFP/Getty Images))

Experts described the goal of South Africa to end AIDS in 2030 as "ambitious," expressing concerns on how to reach that goal.

In the recent International AIDS conference held at Durban International Convention Centre, in Duban early this week, the United Nations declared its goal to reach what it calls, "90-90-90" by 2020. In this project, UNAIDS, the U.N. agency overseeing AIDS in Africa, hopes to enjoin 90 percent of infected people to test their status; 90 percent of those diagnosed HIV positive start treatment with ARVs and that 90 percent of the infected people will be able to drive down the amount of virus in their bloodstream to "undetectable" levels.

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has spearheaded the grand campaign to end AIDS epidemic in 2030, looking at the disease "as a global public health threat."

Observers expressed doubts that South Africa may reach the goal in over 10 years. The nation has a recorded 6.6 million HIV- infected people. The figure is approximately 18 percent of the world's total number of people infected with what was earlier known as "incurable disease."

Despite the grim forecast in South Africa, PBS Newshour reported that the country has made a great development in its fight against HIV/AIDS. Records show that only the rich South Africans had access to ARVs in 2000, the last time South Africa hosted HIV-AIDS international conference. The price of the ARV back then cost about $5,000 and not too many could afford to prolong their lives. Today, the price of the ARV has dramatically dropped to $100 and statistics show that around 3.4. Million HIV-infected people are receiving ARVs treatment.

HIV/AIDS researcher Glenda Gray of the South Africa’s Medical Research Council in Cape Town explained that the country has spearheaded innovate ways to ensure people get their ARVs. The grand campaigns of the U.N. against the disease provide measures to ensure that people will stay on the treatment until the virus drop down on their bloodstreams. South Africa has become a “hub of cutting-edge basic research and clinical trials.”

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