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ENORMOUS GAINS MADE TOWARD AN “AIDS FREE GENERATION” BUT NOW IS THE MOMENT OF TRUTH: WILL WE FINISH THE JOB?

A little more than a year after amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research, and AVAC released An Action Agenda to End AIDS at the 2012 International AIDS Conference in Washington, we took a look to assess how the world is doing at capitalizing on the historic opportunity to end AIDS.

Our new report found that while critical gains have been made, much remains to be done to lay the foundation to end AIDS. Here are our key findings and conclusions:

  • Where rapid scale-up has occurred, dramatic public health gains have resulted. In 26 countries where HIV scale-up has been most pronounced, new HIV infections have fallen by more than 50% since 2001. As a result of expanded service access, AIDS-related deaths worldwide in 2012 were 30% lower than in 2005, and the number of newly infected children was 35% lower than in 2009.
  • The world has yet to reach a tipping point in the AIDS response. The number of new HIV infections in 2012 (2.3 million) substantially exceeded the increase in the number of people on HIV treatment (1.6 million). As a result, the epidemic continues to outpace the response.
  • Globally, the pace of scale-up remains far too slow. To get ahead of the epidemic itself, life-saving HIV treatment and prevention services need to be rapidly brought to scale. However, with scale-up lagging in scores of countries, we continue to fall behind in our quest to end the epidemic.
  • When it comes to bringing greater strategic focus to the response, we need to translate rhetoric into results. Two years after release of the visionary Investment Framework, we still await clear evidence that resource allocation and public health priorities are shifting toward high-impact, high-value approaches.
  • Flagging international commitment threatens our ability to end AIDS. Although low- and middle-income countries are making substantially greater investments in HIV programs, international HIV assistance remained flat in 2012. While the increasing funding from developing countries is heartening, we simply can’t end AIDS without greater international support.
  • Ending AIDS will be impossible without greater attention to the needs of key populations. Although key populations – such as men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, sex workers and transgender people – represent a growing share of new HIV infections, service coverage and policy responses for these populations remained wholly inadequate.
  • We lack the timely data we need to be truly accountable for results. We can’t afford to wait a year for strategic information on epidemiological trends and service coverage. Reporting at least every six months on key indicators is vitally important for genuine accountability.

In every critical aspect of the fight to end AIDS, our new report includes priority recommendations to improve our collective performance. We encourage you to read our new report to obtain a more detailed look at where we are succeeding, where we are falling short, and immediate steps we need to take.

FOR THE ORIGINAL REPORT AND QUARTERLY UPDATES, CLICK HERE.