October 2, 2013
"A decade ago, the notion of beginning to end the [AIDS] epidemic was a dream. Now it has the possibility of becoming a reality," Chris Collins, vice president and director of public policy for amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, and Mitchell Warren, executive director of AVAC, write in the Huffington Post's "Big Push" blog. "But this can only happen with sustained and increased investment. Without this, the success to date will be lost and the price tag for the AIDS response will continue to climb," they state. "The most urgent task for donors, national governments and policy makers committed to an effective AIDS response is to focus human and financial resources on delivering high-impact, evidence-based HIV prevention and treatment at scale -- reaching coverage for maximum impact," they continue, adding, "The next stage of the fight against AIDS depends on doing the things that work now as well as possible, so that they reach everyone in need."
"While the new UNAIDS report documents declines in new HIV infections, ... we have yet to reach a global tipping point -- at which the number of HIV-positive people starting treatment annually finally exceeds the number of new infections," Collins and Warren write. "Epidemiological modeling tells us that if we wait, the possibility of tipping the scales recedes -- and the price tag for the AIDS response climbs. But if we act, now, with a surge of investment, then the price of the AIDS response will go down over time," they state. Collins and Warren highlight a progress report issued by amfAR and AVAC this week, "showing that while some critical gains have been made, the global tipping point is still years away," and note the report makes the following recommendations for action: sustain and increase investment, make smarter and more-focused investments, and invest in new approaches and technologies (10/1).