In 2030, Will We See A Tragic Failure to End AIDS?
Many people think the AIDS epidemic is over, that we've made great progress worldwide, that medicine and treatment protocols have been developed and are widely available, that the risks of infection are low, that we don't need to worry about the disease any more. Michel Sidibé, the head of UNAIDS (Joint United Nations Programme for AIDS) is worried that this sense of complacency will lead to a weakening of the global response to AIDS, to losing the progress we have made, and ultimately to the resurgence of a deadly disease that we could have defeated.
That fear of complacency is the motivation for our awareness campaign. The centerpiece of the campaign will be a 30-minute film, a "future documentary" set in the year 2030, after AIDS has come roaring back, costing tens of millions of lives. [Watch the trailer if you haven't already.] A panel of experts has been convened at an AIDS conference to discuss the topic How We Lost the War Against AIDS. The panelists look back at the fifty-year history of the epidemic, discussing the world's collective failure to end AIDS, identifying the mistakes that were made and the opportunities that were missed. One of those missed opportunities was exactly what Michel Sidibé had feared in 2017, namely, a weakening of the global response when we needed to strengthen it.
Of course, from the perspective of 2018, the opportunities identified by the panelists are not yet missed, the future described in the documentary is not inevitable. It is not yet too late to end the AIDS epidemic. These opportunities will be highlighted in a series of public service announcements that will be produced in the first six months of 2018, prior to the release of the film in July of 2018. The public service announcements will be described in the next few weeks.