Today the Minneapolis City Council passed, and Mayor Jacob Frey signed, a resolution that puts Minneapolis on the fast track to end the HIV epidemic. The resolution to add Minneapolis to the Paris Declaration on Fast-Track Cities Ending AIDS signals Minneapolis’ commitment to stopping new HIV infections and ending stigma and discrimination for people living with HIV/AIDS.
The Fast-Track Cities initiative was launched on World AIDS Day 2014 in Paris. The goals of the Fast-Track Cities initiative are to achieve 90 percent of people living with HIV knowing their HIV status; 90 percent of people living with HIV who know their HIV-positive status on antiretroviral therapy; 90 percent of people living with HIV on antiretroviral therapy achieving viral suppression; and zero HIV stigma and discrimination.
Joining the Fast-Track Cities initiative gives cities access to technical assistance to local health departments; consensus-building and coordination among key local stakeholders; and capacity-building support for clinical and service providers, community-based organizations, and affected communities.
More than 90 priority cities around the world have since signed the Paris Declaration on Fast-Track Cities Ending AIDS. Minneapolis would be the first city in Minnesota, and the second city in the Midwest following Chicago.
The Twin Cities comprise the core of new HIV infections in the state. Thirty-two percent of new HIV infections in 2016 occurred in Minneapolis, and 82 percent of new diagnoses occurred in the seven-county Twin Cities Metropolitan Area.
“Joining the Fast-Track Cities initiative will cement Minneapolis’ position as a leader in stopping the HIV epidemic in the state and region,” said Matt Toburen, Public Policy Director for the Minnesota AIDS Project. “We are excited to see this strong commitment from the city to stopping new HIV infections and to ensuring that people living with HIV have access to life-saving health care and a city free from stigma and discrimination.”
“This commitment by Mayor Frey and the Minneapolis City Council is vital to the wellbeing of people living with HIV, and will guide our communities’ efforts to increase capacity for one of the most pressing issues for people living with HIV -- housing,” said Chuck Peterson, Executive Director of Clare Housing. “For people living with HIV, not having stable housing can be the difference between life and death, and is strongly linked to inadequate HIV health care, high viral loads and overall poor health.”