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London Aims to Be First Major City to Eliminate New HIV Cases

London Aims to Be First Major City to Eliminate New HIV Cases

man walks on bridge in london, england
Photo by Tommy Milanese

Photo by Tommy Milanese

The city says it's “on course” to eliminate all new transmissions by 2030.

In January 2018, London Mayor Sadiq Khan set a goal to eliminate all new HIV transmissions by 2030. At the time, he signed the city up to the Paris Declaration on Fast-Track Cities Ending the HIV Epidemic.

Now, according to a spokesperson who spoke with the UK’s Evening Standard, the city is “on course” to become the world’s first major city to eliminate new transmissions.

“The Mayor is proud that London is leading the way in tackling HIV and is on course to be the first city to end new infections,” they said. “Sadiq is committed to doing all he can to help end transmission by 2030 and tackle the stigma associated with it.”

Previously, when pressed by Emma Best, a Conservative member of the London Assembly, Khan said he’d worked with a number of healthcare authorities to “support London being on track,” as well as showing support for the target of achieving an 80% reduction by 2025.

“I’m proud to say that London is leading the way globally, but we know we have more work to do,” he said. “Since introducing opt-out blood borne virus testing in all London emergency departments in April last year, we have detected hundreds of previously undiagnosed cases of HIV, and put people who were unaware they were living with HIV onto lifesaving treatment. This highlights how London’s HIV response can and is going further and faster.”

In 2021, the UK saw nearly 3,000 total new cases, only 883 of which were in London. That’s a 67% decline since 2012, when London saw 2,656 new cases.

Khan noted the presence of PrEP as a method of reduction, adding, “As part of my manifesto, I am committed to fight for PrEP to continue to be available free on the NHS to everyone who wants it. I am pleased to see that the rollout of routine commissioning of PrEP has been successful across London.”

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