The international medical humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) findings from a follow-up survey of its community-based HIV/TB project in Eshowe, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa shows that it has moved a step ahead of their 2020 target.
The survey shows that the project has achieved the UNAIDS targets of 90-90-90 one year ahead of the 2020 deadline, with results of 90-94-95: 90% of people living with HIV know their status, 94% are on antiretroviral treatment and 95% of those had a suppressed viral load.
The results support MSF’s view that interventions at community level can successfully reach and directly support more people living with HIV, who do not access conventional health services, which is key to getting ahead of the HIV epidemic.
“Along with similar findings from several other HIV population surveys, including two surveys released at SAAIDS this week, the MSF results provide strong evidence that achieving the 90-90-90 target is possible in South Africa, along with hopeful data suggesting that the number of new infections is decreasing in certain areas.
“The 90-90-90 target is an important indicator of the success of a country’s HIV response, with South Africa’s national results estimated at 85-71-86 (HSRC, 2018),” reads the survey.
The MSF Epicentre population-based survey, which included 3,286 people aged 15 to 59 years, is a follow up to a 2013 survey done by MSF and Epicentre in the same area which was performed to inform priority activities.
The 2018 survey found a significant increase in overall HIV status awareness (increased by 14%) and in starting people on treatment (increased by 24%) between 2013 and 2018. Among men, there were striking increases in knowledge of HIV status (first 90), from 68% to 83% and on treatment (second 90), from 68% to 87%.
MSF has been in Zimbabwe for the last 18 years doing different kind of co-operations. This started more as a sabbatical HIV mission offering huge needs when there was a prevalence of 30%.
For the last five, six years, it diversified a lot and MSF has done everything from water and sanitation to cervical cancer, diabetes, hypertension, non-communicable diseases as well as traditional HIV programmes.
More so, adapting to 2018 with different service delivery models, MSF just finished a project which was focused on sexual and gender-based violence, which has become a big problem.