We Can Begin to End the AIDS Epidemic. Will We?
AIDS advocates around the globe welcomed the recent remarks by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as the first step in an ambitious vision for ending the global AIDS epidemic.
Secretary Clinton rightly recognized that we are in an era of unprecedented opportunity for changing the course of the AIDS epidemic and making an AIDS-free generation a reality. Her announcement of an additional US $60 million for combination prevention impact evaluation in four countries is a useful first step in terms of realizing that vision.
In her speech Secretary Clinton emphasized three core prevention strategies that, if fully implemented, would lead to an AIDS-free generation: prevention of mother-to-child transmission, voluntary medical male circumcision and effective antiretroviral treatment for people who are HIV positive.
It is also critical to sustain investments in research and development of additional powerful prevention tools, including pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) using ARVs in HIV-negative people, microbicides, and an AIDS vaccine. If voluntary medical male circumcision, treatment as prevention and prevention of mother to child transmission are taken to scale, the number of new infections will plummet. Deploying additional tools over the long term,could help realize the greatest achievement of ending the AIDS epidemic in our lifetime.
This is truly a new era in the AIDS response, with unprecedented opportunities. Research has brought us a host of new ways to prevent HIV, but we have a long way to go before realizing their full potential. Having identified these key areas, the United States needs to continue to show leadership by articulating a clear plan with milestones for progress. Other developed and developing country governments, communities and donors need to show leadership, ownership and initiative as no single nation can end the epidemic on its own.
Read the full speech.
There has been a positive global response to Secretary Clinton's speech. Here are a few examples: