Dushanbe, Tajikistan, December 1, 2020 — The United States joins Tajikistan in observing World AIDS Day to show support for people living with and affected by HIV, and to remember those who have lost their lives to AIDS. The U.S. government’s theme for World AIDS Day 2020 is “Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Resilience and Impact.” This theme reflects the U.S. government’s strong commitment to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic globally, as well as to strengthening the capacity and resilience of communities and health systems to address other health challenges.
This year marks the 17th year of the U.S. government engagement with Tajikistan to respond to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. During this time the U.S President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) partnered with Tajikistan to control and ultimately end the HIV epidemic. These investments strengthened the service delivery provided by the healthcare system and increased the role of the community organizations in HIV prevention, care, and treatment. The result is a system that provides effective, resilient, and quick service delivery inside of health facilities, with health care support continuing within the community.
Today, there are an estimated 13,000 people living with HIV in Tajikistan amounting to a prevalence rate of 222 per 100,000 in the population of the age above 15. At the beginning of January 2020, 62 percent of HIV-infected adults (aged 15+) knew their status; among those, 83 percent were on life-saving antiretroviral therapy; and among those on treatment, 80 percent were virally suppressed, meaning that the risk of infecting others was reduced.
This year also marks the end of the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) 90-90-90 goals, replaced by a goal to reach 95-95-95 by 2030: to diagnose 95 percent of people living with HIV, provide antiretroviral therapy to 95 percent of those diagnosed, and suppress the virus in 95percent of those on treatment. On this World AIDS Day, the U.S. Embassy renews their commitment to working with Tajikistan toward achieving these ambitious goals and reaching epidemic control.
Lessons learned through holistic HIV response has taught us that in any health threat and response, it is important to share responsibility, empower and involve communities; eradicate stigma and discrimination, and take care of marginalized populations. In the context of COVID-19, Tajikistan, in partnership with PEPFAR, has been able to leverage PEPFAR supported health systems and community partners to adapt, make available, and maintain services for people living with HIV.
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. In Central Asia, PEPFAR provides financial and technical assistance to both government and community organizations that are implementing programs to ensure all people living with HIV know their status and are accessing life-saving treatment. For more information, please visit www.pepfar.gov, and follow PEPFAR on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
For media enquiries, please contact Bakytgul Zhurkabayeva at PEPFAR Coordination office at +7 (727) 250 76 12; 8 701 720 58 11; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org