The end of AIDS is within our reach. But as the authors of a new special supplement in the August, 2012 Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiencies (JAIDS) point out, new financial investments - and renewed commitments - from countries around the world will be critical to fully implement proven treatment and prevention tools already at hand and to continue essential scientific research.
"Only then will an AIDS-free generation be possible," write the supplement's editors -- Richard Marlink, Wafaa El-Sadr, Mariangela Simao and Elly Katabira - in their introduction. **
"Are we willing to pay the price to turn the dream into a reality?" they ask.
The supplement may be reviewed online at http://journals.lww.com/jaids/toc/2012/08012 .
Entitled "Engaging to End the Epidemic: Seven Essential Steps Toward an AIDS-Free Generation," the supplement identifies the seven key areas where money and political will must be focused to end AIDS. These include:
- The promise and challenges of using antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) to prevent HIV transmission
- New AIDS treatments, improving the ARV pipeline to treat those infected, and working toward a cure
- Enhancing the role of government leaders, the private sector, and non-governmental organizations (NGOS) in driving local and national responses to the epidemic
- Narrowing health disparities in preventing and treating AIDS caused by economic disempowerment, discrimination, and stigma
- Preventing AIDS transmission from mothers to babies in low- and middle-income countries where access to prevention services are most limited, but where new drug interventions show AIDS could be virtually eliminated in infants and children
- Funding the pursuit for AIDS vaccines, which are necessary to actually eliminate the disease
- Maximizing and growing current investments in the global AIDS response, rather than decreasing funding. In addition to its humanitarian impact, money spent going forward is a good global and local investment because improving and sustaining people's health enables them to be productive members of society contributing to the growth of their nations' economies.