Press statement

UNAIDS welcomes additional evidence from Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, and South Africa on progress towards the 2020 targets

Results from population-based HIV impact surveys provide insight into where investments are needed

AMSTERDAM/GENEVA, 22 July 2018—Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, and South Africa have released new survey data on progress towards the 2020 targets. The Cameroon and Côte d’Ivoire population-based HIV impact assessment (PHIA) surveys and the South African survey all studied knowledge of HIV status, new HIV infections, condom use, voluntary medical male circumcision, antiretroviral therapy coverage, viral suppression and other indicators. 

In South Africa, which has the largest HIV epidemic in the world with more than 7 million people living with HIV and the largest treatment programme in the world with 4.4 million people on antiretroviral therapy, the new data combined with similar data from an earlier survey indicate that there has been a 40% reduction in the rate of new adult HIV infections between 2010 and 2017.

“These surveys are incredibly important and play a vital role in helping countries to review and refine their HIV programming to make sure that the right services are reaching people affected by HIV,” said Michel Sidibé Executive Director of UNAIDS.

The survey data confirm UNAIDS estimates which indicate that South Africa has also improved treatment coverage and is very close to reaching the 90-90-90* treatment targets. It found that 85% of people living with HIV knew their HIV status, 71% of people who knew their status were accessing antiretroviral treatment and 86% of people who were accessing treatment had supressed viral loads.

Viral load suppression among all people living with HIV in Cameroon and Côte d’Ivoire however was less than 50% reflecting low treatment coverage. The two countries are far from reaching the 90-90-90 targets at 47%, 91% and 80% and 37%, 88% and 76% respectively.

The largest difference between the southern African country and the two western and central African countries is observed in knowledge of HIV status, indicating that HIV testing services need to be significantly scaled up in west and central Africa.

The PHIA surveys provide key information for identifying characteristics of the populations that are not receiving services. In Cameroon, viral load suppression varied by province from 28% to 63%. In South Africa less than 50% of children and young men (ages 15-34 years) living with HIV had suppressed viral load (compared to 67% among the women aged 15-49). These data will provide critical information to allow programme managers to direct their responses to the populations and locations most in need of services.

The PHIA surveys, were led by Columbia University in collaboration with country governments and supported by the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. The South African survey was conducted by the Human Sciences Research Council

* 90% of people living with HIV know their HIV status, 90% of people who know their status are receiving antiretroviral treatment, and 90% of people on treatment have suppressed viral loads.


The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations—UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank—and works closely with global and national partners towards ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. Learn more at and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.


Sophie Barton-Knott
tel. +41 79 514 6896

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