"Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday unveiled a game plan for achieving a global 'AIDS-free generation,' committing the United States to rapidly scaling up medical interventions that are beating back what once was seen as an unconquerable disease," Reuters reports (Quinn, 11/29). "Clinton announced the plan, officially titled the 'President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Blueprint: Creating an AIDS-free Generation,' [.pdf] at the State Department, two days ahead of World AIDS Day," CNN notes (Ariosto, 11/29). The 54-page blueprint -- "immediately welcomed by AIDS researchers and advocates" -- aims "to treat as many people as possible, both to keep them well and to help keep them from infecting others" and will target high-risk populations, such as drug users, gay men, and sex workers, NBC News' "Vitals" blog writes. The blog notes Clinton released new PEPFAR data (.pdf) showing the program has provided antiretroviral treatment to more than five million people worldwide (Fox, 11/29). "The report from [PEPFAR] states that the world is at a 'tipping point' on AIDS, and promises to usher in a generation free of the disease," The Hill's "Healthwatch" blog states (Viebeck, 11/29). Once the number of people on treatment surpasses the number of new infections every year, "[w]e will then get ahead of the pandemic and an AIDS-free generation will be in our sight," Clinton said, Politico Pro reports (Smith, 11/29). The Washington Post adds, "But she warned: 'Now we have to deliver. ... The history of global health is littered with grand plans that never panned out'" (Brown, 11/29).
"The blueprint has been masterminded by the [U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Eric Goosby], and the executive director of [UNAIDS], Michel Sidibe," the Guardian notes, adding, "It focuses on four themes: taking immediate action to save lives; improving the efficiency of health investments; sharing responsibilities with other countries; and exploiting scientific progress" (Boseley, 11/29). "The document consists of a series of 'roadmaps' enumerating more specific goals and implementation steps," CQ HealthBeat reports (Reichard, 11/29). According to Agence France-Presse, under the roadmap, the U.S. will "work towards the elimination of new HIV infections in children by 2015"; "increase its coverage of HIV treatment to cut the number of deaths from AIDS and boost HIV prevention"; "increase the numbers of men that get circumcisions"; and "step up access to testing and counseling, as well as to condoms and other prevention methods" (11/29). The "document and an additional fact sheet use existing country data to show what the plan can accomplish," the Center for Global Health Policy's "Science Speaks" blog states (Barton, 11/29). The plan "outlines how progress could continue at current spending levels -- something far from certain as Congress and Obama struggle to avert looming budget cuts at year's end -- or how faster progress is possible with stepped-up commitments from hard-hit countries themselves," the Associated Press writes (Neergaard, 11/29). However, the Washington Post notes, the document "contains no specific targets or a schedule for achieving" its goals (11/29).
For more information on the blueprint for achieving an "AIDS-free generation," visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's "Policy Tracker."
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.