An estimated 39397 people were living with HIV in Nepal at the end of 2015. In the same year 1331 people were newly infected with HIV and there were 2263 AIDS-related deaths. Despite steady improvements, the global target to reach 90% treatment coverage is far from being accomplished, as only about 30% of people living with HIV in Nepal were enrolled in treatment.

With the National HIV Strategic Plan, Nepal has accepted the challenges of Fast-Tracking towards ending the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat by 2030, through achieving the 909090 treatment targets by 2020.

The National HIV Strategic Plan for the period 2016-2021 is a set of evidence-informed strategies focused on building one consolidated, unified, rights-based and decentralized HIV programme with services that are integrated in the general health services of the country.

It builds on lessons learned from implementation of the National AIDS Strategy 2011-2016, its mid-term review and the Nepal HIV Investment Plan 2014-2016, and it applies recommendations from the AIDS Epidemic Model exercise and other strategic information from studies, surveys and assessments.

The National HIV Strategic Plan has been prepared through a wide range of consultations, including the Nepali Government, civil society networks, international partners and service providers, under the leadership of the National Centre for AIDS and STI Control. The National HIV Strategic Plan includes recommendations from these consultations as strategic directions. The strategic directions are to:

  1. identify and reach key populations with a combination of initiatives to prevent HIV;
  2. focus on reaching key populations through outreach and, by communities of key populations, through in-reach;
  3. recommend and offer HIV test and treat services, regardless of CD4 count;
  4. retain people living with HIV in treatment, resulting in undetectable viral load;
  5. Fast-Track prioritized investments of a scope, scale, intensity, quality, innovation and speed to have the biggest impact;
  6. enhance critical programme and critical social enablers;
  7. establish functional publicprivate partnerships to bridge the preventiontreatment continuum through task-sharing;
  8. focus on innovative, well-coordinated and integrated services towards primary HIV prevention for and with key populations.

Innovative service delivery approaches include intensified testing to reach key populations through facility-based outreach and community-led in-reach; linking testing to treatment and retention with smart and innovative referral systems, and case management that will be introduced systematically in public, private and nongovernmental organization operated facilities; and introducing test for triage, initiated through community-led HIV screening.

By investing no less than 73% of the total HIV budget in a combination of focused and innovative services, activities and strategies to prevent new HIV infections, Nepal will close the prevention gap.

As a matter of moral and ethical obligation, the elimination of vertical transmission of HIV (eVT) will be achieved, because this can and must be accomplished, so that no child is born with HIV in Nepal, and mothers are kept alive and well.

With Nepal HIVision 2020, the prospect of zero new HIV infections has never been so real. Time-proven approaches, combined with new tools and discoveries, will provide people with a real chance of protecting themselves and preventing HIV transmission, leaving no one behind.