Review Article

World AIDS Day 2020: Reflections on global and South African progress and continuing challenges

Yogan Pillay, Leigh Johnson
Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine | Vol 22, No 1 | a1205 | DOI: | © 2021 Yogan Pillay, Leigh Johnson | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 December 2020 | Published: 10 March 2021

About the author(s)

Yogan Pillay, Clinton Health Access Initiative, South Africa
Leigh Johnson, Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Research, School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa


Background: Reflecting on progress and challenges in meeting global human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) targets is often done ahead of World AIDS Day. This article reflects on progress and the continuing challenges in meeting targets in South Africa (SA).

Objective: To review policy and implementation related progress and continuing challenges towards eliminating HIV as a public health threat by 2030.

Method: Policy analysis and review of modeling data from Thembisa 4.3.

Results: South Africa has made significant progress in the adoption of policies with two exceptions. While there are gaps in reaching the 90-90-90 implementation targets, progress has been made in the past decade.

Conclusion: While progress has been made in the past decade towards the global targets, much work remains to ensure that HIV transmission is curtailed and those that require treatment are initiated on treatment and are virally suppressed.


HIV; prevention; treatment; viral suppression; PrEP


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