TAIPEI (Taiwan News)—Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (Taiwan CDC) said in a press release last week that the number of new HIV infections in Taiwan was 1,156 as of July 31, 2018, which is a 26% decrease when compared to the same period of last year and was the lowest since 2012.
The agency noted that the numbers of new HIV infections aged 15-24 and 25-34 have dropped by 32% and 25% respectively to 294 and 526.
Taiwan CDC also mentioned the UNAIDS 90-90-90 goals: by 2020, 90% of people living with HIV know their status, 90% of people who know their status are on treatment, and 90% of people on treatment achieve viral suppression.
The agency said Taiwan’s achievement rates of the aforementioned goals were 79%, 87%, and 90% in 2017. According to the agency, a number of large international studies have indicated that if a person living with HIV is on treatment and the person’s HIV viral load has been undetectable for at least six months, the risk of transmission is almost zero.
“The key to success in controlling HIV epidemic is to keep as many infected persons on stable treatment as possible,” Taiwan CDC said. “In order to end the HIV epidemic, we have to work on reaching the 90-90-90 goals in Taiwan, especially the first one.”
The agency reminds people who have had unprotected sex to receive HIV and STD testing at least once. The agency also recommends people with more than one sexual partners and people who use or inject drugs to receive HIV testing every 3-6 months.
In addition, Taiwan CDC is promoting a “Check-together” campaign and is working with local health bureaus and NGOs. This campaign encourages the public to register as volunteer mentors who promote the right concept of healthcare, introduce HIV testing service, and accompany friends to receive HIV testing, according to the agency.
“There are 57 HIV testing sites nationwide,” Taiwan CDC said. “During the campaign period from July 10 to September 30, 110 more sites will be providing HIV testing, including 10 hospitals with anonymous HIV testing, 1 NGO, 30 clinics, 66 medical inspection offices, and 3 LGBT-friendly centers.”