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Commentary & Opinion
Reactions to Clinton's "AIDS-Free Generation" Speech

November 10, 2011

Translating Science Into Service Delivery to Achieve Clinton's Vision of an AIDS-Free Generation

In this post in the Huffington Post's "Impact" blog, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Eric Goosby responds to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's speech on HIV/AIDS given at the NIH on Wednesday, in which she called for an "AIDS-free generation," writing that "her vision was an affirmation of the progress made over the past decade, and a mandate to redouble our efforts with global partners to bring the latest scientific advances to bear in order to save lives."

Goosby recaps scientific evidence supporting combination prevention strategies, expresses U.S. "support [for] an optimal mix of HIV prevention interventions in each country," and writes that the goal of creating an AIDS-free generation "requires us to utilize the many tools that we have acquired through scientific discovery and practical experience in innovative ways. It demands that we do business differently, by adapting our programs to embrace new evidence and opportunities." He highlights the "need to strengthen country ownership of AIDS programs" and "for other donors to step up their efforts, including by supporting and strengthening the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria," and concludes, "I know that through the dedication of PEPFAR teams around the world, and of our many global partners from all sectors, we will" carry Clinton's vision forward (11/9).

An End to AIDS Is Possible in Our Generation

In this post in the Huffington Post's "Impact" blog, Sheila Nix, executive director of ONE in the U.S., summarizes progress in the global fight against HIV/AIDS in the 30 years since the first cases were documented and writes that "as budgets constrict and leaders turn their attention inward, it's easy to see why a renewed push on global AIDS doesn't seem possible. Yet 2011 marks a critical inflection point in our fight against AIDS."

"Game-changing studies have offered exciting new tools in the fight to prevent HIV -- including new data that shows treatment works as prevention, reducing the likelihood of passing on HIV by as much as 96 percent. Collectively, these advances show that bending the curve on AIDS is possible in our generation," she writes, concluding, "With the right political leadership we will, by 2015, see the beginning of the end of AIDS" (11/9).

Global Health Service Corps Essential to Improve African Health Systems, Achieve "AIDS-Free Generation"

"A notable feature of Secretary [of State Hillary Rodham] Clinton's 'AIDS-free generation' initiative is to strengthen health care systems in sub-Saharan Africa, ... a view echoed by many eminent voices in the global health community," Anand Reddi of the University of Colorado Medical School writes in a post on Huffington Post's "Impact" blog. "To address the African health care workforce shortage, I encourage Secretary Clinton to adopt the principles of the" Global Health Service Corps (GHSC), which would be composed of U.S. health professionals who could "provide medical education and technical assistance to enhance the health care workforces in low-income countries," Reddi says. In addition, the GHSC would focus on "infrastructure development, knowledge transfer, and capacity building," Reddi writes.

"The success of the 'AIDS-free generation' initiative depends on the availability of skilled health care workers in African resource-limited settings. Additionally, the eventual transition from a U.S. to African led HIV/AIDS response requires the U.S. to teach and train health care personnel in recipient countries through collaborative partnerships that eventually lead to African ownership of their domestic health care needs," Reddi writes, concluding, "The U.S. should enact the GHSC to ensure the success and sustainability of the ... initiative" (11/9).

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