December 20, 2011
This Lancet Infectious Diseases editorial responds to the Global HIV/AIDS Response 2011 progress report (.pdf) launched by the WHO, UNICEF, and UNAIDS on November 30, writing that the report "contains much good news on treatment and prevention, but the gains made by past efforts are jeopardized by the ongoing global financial crisis and dwindling funds."
"Economic uncertainty threatens the future of people who still do not have access to treatment, many of whom do not even know that they are infected with HIV," the editorial states, adding, "Social and political marginalization of certain groups means that programs to reach them might be most at risk in the face of funding cuts, but in many cases these groups are now the stronghold of the epidemic and key in the fight against it." It concludes, "Universal access to treatment by 2015 is certainly an ambitious goal, but a realistic one if donor governments can maintain their commitment and if recipient nations adopt strategic and sustainable approaches in their HIV/AIDS programs. Money well spent today means less money spent tomorrow" (January 2012).