Is UNAIDS 90-90-90 target a Dream or a Reality for Middle East and North Africa Region on Ending the AIDS Epidemic? A Review Study

AIDS Rev. 2018 Apr-Jun;20(2):83-93. doi: 10.24875/AIDSRev.M18000020.


Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is lagging far behind the global average to reach 90-90-90 targets. This study uses the UNAIDS 90-90-90 program to evaluate the HIV current situation in MENA countries, and understand the challenges that exist in the way of approaching the program goals. All articles and publications were searched based on the 90-90-90 program indexes among national and international data resources such as official national reports and online scientific databases such as PubMed, Medline, and Scopus up to December 2017. The data were categorized into four main stages: (1) estimated number of HIV-positive people (people living with HIV [PLWH]); (2) PLWH who know their status; (3) PLWH receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART); and (4) virally suppressed PLWH. A total of 41 papers were included in the study. 19 out of 24 MENA countries have met the inclusion criteria. The proportion of diagnosed people ranges from 6% in Pakistan to 76% in Algeria. The percentage of diagnosed people receiving ART ranges between 7% in Pakistan and 86% in Algeria. Viral suppression levels vary from 4% to 72% in Pakistan and Kuwait, respectively. Lack of appropriate surveillance systems, low access to HIV-care facilities along with complicated socioeconomic and geopolitical situation of the region have made it challenging for MENA countries to reach 90-90-90 goals by 2020. To achieve these goals, the foremost strategy is global effort to establish peace in this region and rebuild the infrastructure in the countries involved in war and to setup comprehensive surveillance systems in the majority of the MENA countries.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS; Middle East and North Africa Region: 90-90-90 program; AIDS epidemic.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Africa, Northern / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Middle East / epidemiology