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Commentary Discusses "On-the-Ground" Details Necessary to Achieve an AIDS-Free Generation

By Miguel Gomez

November 1, 2012

Commentary Discusses 'On-the-Ground' Details Necessary to Achieve an AIDS-Free Generation

World AIDS Day (December 1) is fast approaching and plans are underway both here at and throughout the HIV/AIDS community to mark this important international health observance, which serves as a key opportunity to raise awareness and renew and invigorate our commitment to ending AIDS.

In anticipation of World AIDS Day, Dr. Ronald Valdiserri, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, Infectious Diseases, and Director, Office of HIV/AIDS Policy, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, authored a commentary in the November/December 2012 issue of Public Health Reports providing insights into the challenges of achieving an AIDS-free generation.

In the commentary, Achieving an AIDS-Free Generation: It's the Details the Matter, Dr. Valdiserri maintains that while new scientific breakthroughs are key to curbing the epidemic, we also must attend to the critical "on-the-ground" details of their implementation. He proposes five principles for such implementation efforts: addressing the social determinants that fuel the epidemic, engaging communities in finding solutions to HIV/AIDS, encouraging leaders in all sectors to view the fight against HIV/AIDS as "their" fight, engineering the systems and infrastructure necessary to implement new research findings into practice, and adapting to changes in the epidemic.

As you prepare your World AIDS Day activities, I strongly encourage you to read Dr. Valdiserri's article and use it an opportunity for discussion: what are you doing integrate evidence-based interventions into your policies and practices, and how are you attending to the day-to-day details of implementing the advances in prevention and clinical science? Use the comments box below to tell us how you and your community are adapting to new scientific advances in the ever-evolving epidemic.

Miguel Gomez is the director of and senior communications advisor in the Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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