ALMATY, Kazakhstan (TCA) — East Kazakhstan Oblast collaborates with the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in the fight with HIV infection. Thanks to this joint work and innovative approaches, East Kazakhstan is making progress in reaching the ambitious UNAIDS 90-90-90 goals: 91% of people living with HIV know their status; 64% of those people receive sustained antiretroviral therapy; and, 89% have viral suppression, the US Mission in Kazakhstan said on June 6.
The Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and PEPFAR made a commitment to achieve the global 90-90-90 goals by 2020.
On May 29-30, U.S. Consul General Eric Meyer visited project sites supported by PEPFAR in East Kazakhstan Oblast. Mr. Meyer was joined by U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director for Central Asia Chris Edwards.
“I congratulate Kazakhstan on making significant progress in reaching the ambitious targets. Through the efforts of the Government of Kazakhstan, community organizations, and donors, Kazakhstan has made significant progress. Though there is still a lot of work ahead, the country is on the path to preventing new HIV infections and deaths,” said Mr. Meyer.
During the visit, Consul General Meyer and Mission Director Edwards discussed the expansion of medication-assisted treatment for people who suffer from opioid dependence. This treatment allows patients to go back to their normal lives—working and re-building relationships with family and friends.
The U.S. officials met with NGOs that support people who have HIV, helping them to navigate the health system and ensuring that they continue HIV treatment. They also heard from service beneficiaries about their illnesses and recovery, and how treatment has allowed them resume their normal lives.
PEPFAR is the U.S. government’s response to the global HIV/AIDS epidemic, which represents the largest commitment by any nation to address a single disease in history. PEPFAR has saved and improved millions of lives, accelerating progress toward controlling and ultimately ending the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat. In Central Asia, PEPFAR is managed by the regional office headquartered in Almaty, Kazakhstan.