July 31, 2012
As we reflect upon the 2012 International AIDS Conference in Washington D.C., we stand at a threshold between the past and the future. We can now imagine an AIDS-free world. It's at our doorstep within our reach -- but only if we decide to act now -- and we must act now.
Decisively. Deliberately. Definitively.
Because just over this threshold is a new reality where the end of AIDS is no longer a distant dream but a near reality.
The end of AIDS: We heard this phrase many times during the conference, from plenary speakers and leaders in research, science, advocacy and policy, who told us that we are beginning to turn the tide to on AIDS. But will we really end the epidemic?
Despite the developments of recent years, serious problems remain. Approximately 50,000 Americans become infected with HIV each year. This number has remained unchanged for nearly the past ten years. We need to make serious adjustments in our prevention methodologies.
We must also return to our families and our communities spreading the news from AIDS2012. It's up to each and every one of us who attended to take what we have learned back into our neighborhoods, our local leaders, our non-traditional partners, our policy makers at every level.
Look for the Black AIDS Institute to host post-Conference hubs in the 13 U.S. cities most impacted by HIV/AIDS and to support training in community clinics and healthcare facilities that will help build infrastructure and scale up access to care across Black America.
The End of AIDS is more than just a declaration: it's a commitment and it's a charge. To turn the tide of HIV in our own neighborhoods, we must take the Conference on the road. And we must do it now. An AIDS-free generation is within our reach only if we seize this moment and maximize this opportunity. We can end this epidemic, if we act now. We must redouble our commitment to act. This is our charge, and we can prevail.