On June 27, 2018, National HIV Testing Day, leading HIV/AIDS organizations in Pinellas County announced their collaborative plan to reduce new HIV infections within the County. With support provided by the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg, the project partners have developed and implemented a collaborative plan to reduce new HIV infections by 50% over a 3-year period utilizing a “90-90-90-50” cascade model.
The goal is that 90% of persons living with HIV know their status; 90% of persons diagnosed with HIV are linked to care and retained in antiretroviral therapy; and 90% of persons retained in treatment have a HIV suppressed viral load. And as a result, there is at least a 50% reduction of new HIV infections in three years.
Providing that we are successful at implementing the 90/90/90/50 cascade model over the project period, we believe that our continue efforts will help us achieve our ultimate goal of zero new infections in Pinellas County, hence our name “Zero Pinellas”.
Thus far, enhancements to current community practices have included:
- Increased targeted testing by looking at epidemiological data, knowledge, and behaviors
- Increased linkage services to include intensive case management and a peer approach to identify the more at-risk individual with the more intensive social and environmental barriers to care
- Decreased the window of time with which individuals are tested and then treated to decrease viral loads and infections
- Decreased stigma by increasing social media messaging
- Promotion of PrEP as a preferred and practiced method to decrease infection rates
- Promotion of policy changes to reduce stigma and implement best practices as well as continue good works as a method of sustainability