Ending The AIDS Epidemic as part of the Sustainable Development Goals Regional Data Review and Verification Workshop FY 073/74 बोलपत्र स्वीक्रित गर्ने आशय को सुचना Notice about Amendment (ICB) - IFB No. NCASC /P-ARVD/01/074/75 National Dissemination of Integrated Biological and Behavioral Surveillance (IBBS) Surveys NEW

Message from the Director

Since the first case of HIV infection was identified in 1988, Nepal has been able to make some substantial progress in National HIV & AIDS response; nevertheless, still, there is a lot to do. HIV prevalence among adult population has been declined from 0.34% in 2005 to 0.17% in 2016. Country has made significant achievement in reduction of new HIV infection from 7,512 annually in 2,000 to 942 in 2016, despite of high HIV prevalence among certain population groups such as people who inject drugs, female sex workers and MSM and TG (HIV prevalence among one of these key populations is more than 5% due to which Nepal's HIV epidemic is categorized as concentrated epidemic). This achievement so far regarding reduction in HIV prevalence and new HIV infection is the result of collaborative efforts of national government entities, external development partners, non-governmental organizations, civil society organization and communities of key affected populations. 

Over the past few years, we have gradually scaled up HIV related services in most of the districts of Nepal. As of the end of July 2017, we have 175 HIV testing and counselling (HTC) and Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) management services sites across 75 districts. So far, we have been able to scale up PMTCT services up to birthing centres in all 77 districts, 70 ART sites are offering Anti-retroviral Therapy (ART) services and 30 sites providing CD4 test facilities. Likewise, we have established 14 sites for Opioid Substitution Therapy (OST) services in the country. Targeted Intervention for HIV program is present in more than 35 districts; we are committed to scaling up these services gradually and continuously to the grassroots level.

National HIV Strategic Plan (2016-2021) is our current guiding document for Nepal's HIV response which has direct alignment with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A multi-prong approach, to the integration of HIV and Family Planning, Early Infant Diagnosis (EID), TB/HIV services and moving towards monitoring of HIV drug resistance, are some of the best practices that we have initiated in recent years.

Nevertheless, improving governance and coordination among the stakeholders, relative low coverage of services, scarcity of trained human resources and addressing inequalities are key challenges for which we have to make more collaborative efforts in the days ahead. Given this, in coming years, we will make additional efforts in speedy scaling up HIV related services, effective decentralisation of HIV related training such as HIV counselling, PMTCT and Clinical Management Training and Strategic Information (SI) activities to regional and district level.

As Director of NCASC, I would like to thank all Government officials, NCASC team, Health Care Workers, EDPs, INGOs, Civil Society Organizations and all beneficiaries for their meaningful contribution in national HIV response, without which we would not have what we have today.

Finally, as we are moving forward to new SDGs, we have a new vision of Ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 and goals to achieve optimized Identify, Reach, Recommend, Test, Treat and Retain (IRRTTR) for 90-90-90 and combination prevention by 2020.

This is, in fact, an ambitious target to reach 90-90-90 by 2020 and end epidemic by 2030. So I do expect the same sincere efforts and contribution from you all for making it a real success in future.

Thank you all.

Dr. Tara Nath Pokhrel

Director