How We Lost the War Against AIDS

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In 2017, It's Not Too Late to End AIDS

How We Lost the War Against AIDS, the documentary film described previously, will be released in July 2018 at the 22nd International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam.  It will be preceded by a series of Public Service Announcements in the first half of 2018.  The theme of the PSAs will be It's Not Too Late... with each PSA highlighting an issue that can, and must, be addressed now in order to successfully end AIDS as a public health threat by the year 2030.

Several of the PSAs will be focused on global issues:

It's not too late to change the future and end the AIDS epidemic

The documentary set in 2030 describes a tragic future in which HIV and AIDS have come roaring back.  Fortunately, that future is not inevitable.  But the end of AIDS is also not inevitable.  Ending AIDS by 2030 will require action now and continued action in the future.

It's not too late to reassert American leadership in the global response to AIDS

The United States has been the leader in the global response to AIDS.  PEPFAR (President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief), started by President George W. Bush in 2003, sparked a global initiative that has led to amazing progress, with almost 20 million people living with HIV now on life-saving treatment.  Fiscal year 2019 is an important opportunity to again demonstrate American leadership by increasing the US financial commitment to PEPFAR and The Global Fund.

It's not too late for world leaders to recommit to ending AIDS

In June 2016, at the United Nations High Level Meeting on AIDS, world leaders issued a Political Declaration on Ending AIDS that included specific targets whose achievement would lead to ending AIDS by 2030.  However, the collective response, from both donor countries and domestic sources, has not yet met the resource commitments made in that declaration.  Now is the time for world leaders to follow through on their commitments.

It's not too late to ensure universal access to HIV prevention, testing, and treatment services

Universal access is, of course, one of the basic requirements of successfully ending the AIDS epidemic.  Universal access involves not just testing and treatment, but also prevention services.  In fact, treatment can lead to prevention:  an HIV-positive person who adheres to treatment and becomes virally suppressed is no longer infectious.  But in addition, people at risk of infection must have access to all prevention options.  Finally, it is also critical to ensure that people can access services without fear of stigma, discrimination, or criminal prosecution.

 

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David Barstow