Print this page    •   Back to Web version of article

Commentary & Opinion
End to AIDS Epidemic in Sight, but Political Support Needed for Success

November 11, 2011

In this Washington Post opinion piece, columnist Michael Gerson recaps advances in the science of HIV/AIDS prevention over the last 18 months and the projected benefits of using combination preventive tools. He writes, "After 30 years and 30 million funerals, the end of the global AIDS epidemic is suddenly, unexpectedly, within sight. It would be a final victory for this clever killer if America were too preoccupied and inward-looking to notice and act."

"But the political timing of these scientific breakthroughs is poor," he writes, adding that "with economic times far from normal, the case is complicated. Ending the global AIDS epidemic would require a major presidential push. It would also require congressional Republicans to make a human life exception to austerity." Gerson continues, "This uphill effort would, however, be aided by a pragmatic argument. ... A major prevention effort -- reducing the number of new infections to below the number of new people placed on treatment -- is the only morally acceptable strategy that eventually reduces American commitments on AIDS." He concludes, "Having abruptly gained the scientific tools to defeat this epidemic, what remains is a test of will and conscience" (11/10).

Back to other news for November 2011

This information was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery. © Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report. You can find this article online by typing this address into your Web browser:

General Disclaimer: is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. The information provided through should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, consult your health care provider.