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Put Prevention on the Line

The signature graphic for “ending AIDS” is the downward sloping line in rates of HIV acquisition and death. The curves illustrate epidemiological models. They are inspiring pictures. But the specific underlying assumptions about prevention can be hard to tease out. Existing models state things like: “constant coverage in prevention programs” or “key population programs only”.

This kind of caption might work for ART, but it doesn’t fly for the other elements of combination prevention, which need to be defined by type, target population, coverage level and so on. Putting prevention on the (downward-sloping) line to end the epidemic means getting specific, even if it complicates the picture. Here’s an example of what we mean.

The point isn’t to choose between one line or the other, it’s that this kind of strategy and coverage level-specific modeling is needed to give an accurate, actionable picture of how to get to the end of epidemic levels of HIV infections.