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Getting to Zero: What Stands in the Way?


Christopher Ervin

Christopher Ervin

Aniz, Inc., Atlanta

The biggest barrier to getting to zero HIV infections globally will be the willingness to address those factors that presently put people at risk for HIV and will continue to put people at risk despite the advances in prevention and treatment. As the United States and the world experience another historic moment, come World AIDS Day there will still be economic uncertainty throughout the world that will hinder the research community's rapid development of the treatments we have envisioned, and limit the access for those living with HIV/AIDS to such treatments. These economic challenges will also affect prevention programs, so difficult decisions will be made on where to best target limited resources at the risk of causing unintended HIV incidence increases in communities left behind. Finally, we have begun to recognize housing, education, mental health/addiction treatment, and jobs are effective tools in the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS. However, throughout the world, we have yet to hear global leaders demonstrate sustainable commitments to provide these basic human needs to all.

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See Also
World AIDS Day 2012: Features and News

Reader Comments:

Comment by: W. JAMES PERIGNY (FT. LAUDERDALE, FL) Tue., Dec. 4, 2012 at 12:21 pm UTC
After working in the trenches of HIV trying to help people, I sincerely believe:
1. Most grants go to Treatment not enough go to prevention...we are getting too many new infections and we will never stamp out Aids at the current rates of infection.
2. When Grant decisions are made, no one actually asks "how much funding do you already receive". Keep as many Agencies funded as possible that ACTUALLY WORK WITH HIV CLIENTS.
3. Too many grants are gobbled up by the large agencies that have large staff and payroll overhead and can produce Grant Writers written pretty paperwork. THE EMPHASIS SHOULD NOT BE IN THE WRITTEN PAPER, BUT RATHER, WHAT THE AGENCY HAS ACTUALLY ACCOMPLISHED WITH THE FUNDING THEY HAVE PREVIOUSLY RECEIVED.
4. Not many grants have been given for Peer or Support groups which keep Positives engaged in adherrence and the newest meds or programs or where to actually go for help.
5. The government should create an AIDS Research Center (much like the Atom Bomb research center of the 1940's) and not duplicate research dollars. HIRE the best research scientists.
6. Hold the cost of meds down by blocking advertisements and RYAN WHITE MEDS purchased on the State level, not the county level...the prices would be cheaper. The Pharmas are already making billions on managing health...where is their incentive to find a vaccine or cure???
7. HIGH IMPACT PREVENTION is only as good as its data. For instance, if you mostly test in Black areas, then the data will show huge increase in Black populations and ignore Hispanics or other groups.
8. EVERYONE should be tested. The Federal Government should force the AMA to have HIV Testing part of annual physical exams
9. More grant dollars should be given for Social Marketing and radio ads stressing PREVENTION. The messages need to be sent over and over.
10. More grant dollars should be given to erase HIV Stigma. Fear currently rules.
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