Mayor Jane Castor has signed an Executive Order on Friday for the City of Tampa to become the second city in Florida to join a network of more than 350 cities committed to ending their urban HIV epidemics by 2030.
Tampa has become the 33rd U.S. Fast-Track City to commit to ending its urban HIV epidemic. Miami/Miami-Dade County joined the Fast-Track Cities network in 2015.
Mayor Castor was joined at the signing by Dr. José M. Zuniga, who serves as President/CEO of the Fast-Track Cities Institute (FTCI) and the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC) and Joy Winheim, Executive Director of Empath Partners in Care (EPIC).
Empath Partners in Care brings together nearly 60 years of combined HIV services experience of ASAP (AIDS Service Association of Pinellas) and Francis House of Tampa. This non-profit organization provides comprehensive, wrap-around services for people living with HIV throughout Tampa Bay.
“As a Fast-Track City, we will work closely with communities, service providers, law enforcement and other partners to ensure marginalized and vulnerable populations have the resources they need to learn their status and if necessary, seek treatment,” Mayor Jane Castor said. “By joining this group of Fast-Track cities, Tampa will have the support we need to help end our urban HIV epidemic.”
Cities joining the Fast-Track Cities network aim to achieve UNAIDS “95-95-95-95” HIV programmatic targets, which include:
- 95 percent of people living with HIV knowing their status
- 95 percent of those who know their status taking antiretroviral therapy (ART)
- 95 percent of those on ART achieve viral suppression, which means the virus is undetectable and therefore, cannot be sexually transmitted.
- 95 percent of at-risk individuals to use combination HIV prevention.
“We proudly welcome the City of Tampa to the Fast-Track Cities network," Dr. José M. Zuniga said. "We also applaud Mayor Jane Castor’s commitment to a fully-inclusive approach to ending the city’s HIV epidemic by 2030. Ultimately, the meaningful engagement of affected communities is a hallmark of successful urban HIV responses, which will guide Tampa’s efforts to leave no one behind.”
Fast-Track Cities commit themselves to eliminating HIV and intersectional stigma as part of a social transformation agenda that includes addressing inequities, inequalities and social marginalization.
Achieving these targets places cities on a fast track towards achieving zero new HIV infections, zero AIDS-related deaths, and zero stigma against people living with and affected by HIV.
The City of Tampa and Hillsborough County are priority jurisdictions under the federal Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) strategy, which calls for ending the U.S. HIV epidemic by 2030.