Getting Closer to an AIDS-Free Generation
Proven science, smart investments, and shared responsibility
“Ten years after PEPFAR was launched, we are actually able to see and reach out and hopefully touch the prospect of an AIDS-free generation.” - -U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, February 2013
For more than 30 years CDC has played a leading role in achieving scientific progress and translating science into action to save millions of lives in the global fight against HIV/AIDS. CDC has also been a principal implementing agency for the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) since it was launched in 2003.
Landmark scientific advances and their successful implementation have brought the world to a point where we can dramatically drive down the rate of new HIV infections and virtually eliminate infections in babies and children. Through shared global responsibility and smart, science-based investments, we can save millions more lives and achieve an AIDS-free generation (see sidebar below).
Progress has been particularly rapid in the last two years, due to recent scientific breakthroughs as well as accelerated targets set by President Obama, who again championed the achievable goal of an AIDS-free generation in his 2013 State of the Union address. The Administration’s Blueprint for creating an AIDS-free generation outlines specific steps that PEPFAR is taking to uphold America’s commitment to fight this deadly disease.
This exciting research news provided the impetus for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s call to action in November 2011 for pursuing an AIDS-free generation (see sidebar) and President Obama’s announcement of the accelerated treatment goal and “the beginning of the end of AIDS” in December 2011 on World AIDS Day.
Scientific advances guide strategy
Science brought us to the point where we can actually call for an AIDS-free generation. And it is science that underpins all our efforts to achieve this goal and save even more lives. Research shows that three key prevention interventions can dramatically drive down the rate of new infections:
When used with HIV testing and counseling, condoms, and other prevention interventions, these tools put us on a path for eliminating new HIV infections. As the key science-based public health and disease prevention agency and with longstanding, trusted relationships with foreign Ministries of Health, CDC plays a key role in implementing this strategy.
Through its in-country presence, CDC works with more than 70 partner countries to build their capacity to lead their national HIV/AIDS response. CDC is also supporting research to identify the most effective means to scale-up these prevention interventions based on the characteristics of local HIV epidemics. CDC’s data-driven, evidence-based approach helps ensure that high impact interventions are delivered effectively and efficiently to maximize health outcomes and epidemic change.
Shared Responsibility for an AIDS-free generation
Investments in global health are a pillar of American diplomacy, advancing our national interests and helping other countries become more stable. The United States will continue to play its part in this global fight, but no one can do it alone. President Obama has called on the world to join the United States in this undertaking. Creating an AIDS-free generation requires the commitment and leadership of many countries, reinforced with support from donor nations, civil society, people living with HIV, faith-based organizations, the private sector, foundations, and multilateral institutions such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, to which the United States is the largest contributor.