Aug 14, 2015
Cary Kennedy, Deputy Mayor and Chief Financial Officer for the City and County of Denver, will join community members and local public health officials at 9 a.m. on August 15 in signing an agreement to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic during the opening ceremony of the AIDS Walk Colorado at Cheesman Park. By signing on to the Paris Declaration agreement, Denver becomes the fourth North American city to join the Fast Track Cities Initiative to end the AIDS Epidemic by 2030.
Launched in Paris on World AIDS Day in 2014 led by the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), this global initiative aims to dramatically reduce new HIV infections and future AIDS-related deaths through increasing testing, treatment and education.
“Ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 is feasible if the world’s major cities act immediately and decisively to fast-track their AIDS responses by 2020,” said Benjamin Young, MD, PhD, Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of IAPAC.
In signing the Paris Declaration, Denver agrees to achieve the following Fast Track targets by 2020:
Denver, which already has 74 percent of people diagnosed with HIV in treatment, is poised to be one of the first cities to achieve these targets through collaborative efforts implemented by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Denver’s Office of HIV Resources, Denver’s HIV Resources Planning Council, and Denver Public Health. Together, these partners will expand HIV testing and prevention services, expand HIV care and adherence to treatment, and end discrimination through expanded access to care and support services, education and public information campaigns.
“Despite a 60 percent decrease in new HIV infections since 2005 and improved engagement in HIV care over the past few years, Denver continues to be significantly affected by HIV,” said Sarah Rowan, MD, Director of HIV and Viral Hepatitis Prevention with Denver Public Health. “Being a part of this global initiative will help raise awareness and motivate the community to come together and take the steps necessary to put an end to this epidemic.”