How We Lost the War Against AIDS


The Latest in the War Against AIDS

In 2017, It's Not Too Late for an AIDS-Free Generation

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.

PSAs focused on the epidemic generally were described previously.  Several other PSAs will be focused on ensuring that the next generation is free of AIDS:

It's not too late to ensure that children are free of AIDS

Medically and scientifically we know what to do to ensure that children are free of AIDS.  First, we must ensure that mother-to-child HIV transmission is eliminated, which requires that all HIV-positive pregnant mothers receive treatment.  Second, we must ensure that children who already have HIV also receive treatment.  We are currently falling short of the targets set in the 2016 Political Declaration on Ending AIDS, with much lower treatment rates for children than adults.  But it is well within our capabilities to increase the effort and successfully eliminate childhood HIV.

It's not too late to empower girls to control their own lives

In many parts of the world, adolescent girls and young women are at the greatest risk of HIV infection.  In 2015, PEPFAR launched the DREAMS program, aiming to dramatically reduce the new infection rate in this high risk population.  DREAMS has made good progress and must be continued in the next phase of PEPFAR.

It's not too late to empower young people to have a future without AIDS

One of the major risks identified at this year's AIDS conference in Paris was the rapidly growing youth population in high-burden countries.  The key is prevention, ensuring that young people know about, and have access to, the full range of prevention options, including delay of sexual debut, reduction in sexual partners, condoms, pre-exposure prophylaxis, needle exchange programs, and other options as they are developed.



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David Barstow