Edinburgh City Council have today voted unanimously to sign the Paris Declaration, and Edinburgh has become the fourth Scottish city to commit to ending the HIV epidemic by 2030.  

The Fast Track Cities Initiative is an international programme to help achieve and maintain and exceed the UN 90-90-90 targets:   

  • 90% of all people living with HIV knowing their status 
  • 90% of those that know their status being on anti-retroviral drugs 
  • 90% of those on anti-retroviral drugs having an undetectable viral load and thus being unable to pass the virus on 

Most importantly, however, the Paris Agreement commits cities to work to reduce HIV-related stigma to zero.  

HIV Scotland, the National Implementing Partner for the global initiative, welcomed the news. Nathan Sparling, their Chief Executive, said:   

“Edinburgh City Council have taken a great step forward on the road to zero new HIV transmissions by 2030 and keeps Scotland firmly on the path to be the world’s first Fast Track Country. Tackling and ending HIV-related stigma is the most important aspect of the initiative, and we stand ready to work with all stakeholders to help make Scotland a stigma-free country.  

“Stigma contributes hugely to high rates of late diagnosis, which impacts on the short-term and long-term health of people living with HIV. We need to emphasise the importance of swift access to stigma-free testing and treatment, and stress that people living with HIV on effective treatment can live long, healthy lives, and cannot pass the virus on.  

“We’re extremely grateful for all the cross-sector, unparalleled support that the Fast Track Cities Initiative has been given from across Edinburgh, without which this huge step forward would have never become a reality.”  

Will Dalgleish, Chair of the Lothian HIV Patient Forum, said:  

“It’s fantastic to hear that Edinburgh City Council has passed this motion and the LHPF applauds this bold ambition of continuing to maintain and continue to exceed the UNAIDS 90 90 90 targets. We've now joined the other Scottish cities of Dundee, Aberdeen, and Glasgow in the Fast Track Cities Initiative. As Scotland’s capital, we have invaluable experience of the HIV crisis through cross-sector involvement and co-operation. 

“When you bring together the varied voices of those living with and at risk of HIV, traditional and nontraditional organisations you end up with real community-led responses. This initiative lays the groundwork to grow these links further. Edinburgh is in a great place to move forward, maintain the 90-90-90 targets, tackle HIV-related stigma, and get to zero by 2030.” 

Cllr Cammy Day, seconding the motion, said:

“I’m proud to second this motion in the year that HIV Scotland celebrates their 25th birthday. Everyone should join HIV Scotland and Waverley Care in their ambition of getting to zero HIV-related deaths by 2030.”