Kay Marshall, email@example.com,
Cub Barrett, firstname.lastname@example.org,
D.C. — Two of the world’s leading AIDS advocacy organizations today
released a global action agenda aimed at accelerating progress towards the end
of the AIDS epidemic. Announced ahead of
the XIX International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., the agenda
identifies five major short-term priorities for global AIDS programs together
with realistic, annual targets that must be achieved through 2015. The recommended actions, if taken together,
could accelerate achievement of a “tipping point” in the global AIDS epidemic,
at which—for the first time ever—the number of people gaining access to HIV
therapy will outpace the number of people becoming newly infected.
The report, An Action Agenda to End AIDS, was developed by AVAC and amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS
Research, and was informed by an analysis of modeling research and
consultations with top HIV prevention experts.
The Action Agenda, available online at www.EndingAIDS.org,
will be the focus of a satellite session at the International AIDS Conference on Monday, July 23 at 6:30
pm ET, as well as a press conference on Tuesday, July 24 at 2:00 pm ET.
“It’s time for talk about ending AIDS to make way for action,”
said Mitchell Warren, executive director of AVAC. “When we look back a decade
from now, we’ll judge ourselves on whether we made the kinds of hard choices
outlined in this plan. If we do, we’ll
soon begin to bring the epidemic under control, creating a world defined by declining
HIV infections and a growing capacity to treat people in need. If we don’t, we
will instead witness millions more preventable HIV infections and needless
Recent breakthroughs have expanded the range of effective HIV
prevention methods and led to new optimism in the AIDS field. After clinical trials demonstrated that
antiretroviral treatment (ART) in HIV-positive people can reduce the risk of
HIV transmission, and that voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) and other
new tools can significantly reduce the risk of HIV infection in HIV-negative
people, leaders including U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton publicly embraced the possibility of creating an “AIDS-free
generation.” Despite these encouraging
statements, however, global AIDS efforts continue to lack coherent priorities
and are threatened by cuts in funding.
“At this moment of great opportunity, we need to be clear about
the critical choices ahead,” said Chris Collins, Vice President and Director of
Public Policy at amfAR. “The world can
begin to turn the epidemic around within the next three years—but only if we
agree on the major priorities, commit to realistic milestones and hold
ourselves accountable. This new agenda outlines the critical decisions we need
to make in the coming years to put us on a path to beginning to end the AIDS
Year-by-year action steps for all stakeholders
The agenda lays out essential
steps that must be taken—year by year through 2015—by national governments;
international organizations, donors and stakeholders; civil society;
researchers; and technical agencies.
These action steps fall within five overarching priorities:
hard choices by emphasizing, above all other efforts, the rapid scale-up of
core interventions that can have the greatest impact. These include HIV testing and treatment,
VMMC, prevention of mother-to-child (vertical) transmission, and evidence-based,
human rights-based interventions for gay men, sex workers, injection drug users
and others at greatest risk.
sufficient, sustainable resources to ensure the rapid scale-up of
these core interventions.
on clear roles and responsibilities and hold one another accountable
for results, through agreed timelines, target outcomes, transparent reporting,
and real-time assessment of results.
the evidence base to end AIDS, by prioritizing research on the
most effective ways to implement new prevention strategies, as well as the
continued search for a preventive vaccine and a cure.
every dollar of funding as effectively as possible
by lowering the unit costs of core interventions, improving program management,
and strategically targeting services.
critical milestones through 2015
In addition, the report lists a
series of key results that must be achieved each year from 2012 through 2015 to
fully capitalize on recent research advances.
These include cutting the numbers of new HIV infections and deaths, as
well as more specific epidemiological and policy-based milestones tied to the
global scale-up of critical interventions.
By steadily reducing annual new HIV infections and simultaneously
continuing to expand access to HIV treatment, the report authors project that a
global “tipping point” can be achieved within two to three years. At that time, roughly 1.75 million people
would gain access to HIV therapy yearly, exceeding—for the first time ever—the number of annual HIV infections, which would fall close to 1.5
million. This shift would mark a
critical step in controlling the global epidemic.
The targets reflect best-case scenario calculations based on
published modeling and epidemiological data, as well as analysis provided by
experts in the field. A bibliography and explanation of methodology can be
found at www.EndingAids.org.
The feasibility of the report’s targets was also reinforced by
encouraging new data released by UNAIDS on July 18. The agency reported that more
than 8 million people in low- and middle-income countries were receiving HIV
therapy in 2011, a 20 percent increase from the year before. Annual HIV infections declined to 2.5 million
in 2011, from 2.7 million the year before.
“The past decade has taught us that when global AIDS efforts have
clear priorities and realistic targets, they can have a huge impact,” said
Nelson Otwoma, National Coordinator of the National Empowerment Network of
People Living with HIV/AIDS in Kenya (NEPHAK).
“We’ve already accomplished so much, and now the opportunities are
greater than ever. If we can agree on a
plan and act decisively to make it happen, then countries around the world will
have much to celebrate in the years ahead.”
AVAC and amfAR will continue to track global progress against the
recommendations and targets in the Action Agenda over the coming years. Status updates, analysis and other
information will be released periodically and made available on
About amfAR: amfAR, The
Foundation for AIDS Research, is one of the world’s leading nonprofit
organizations dedicated to the support of AIDS research, HIV prevention,
treatment education, and the advocacy of sound AIDS-related public policy.
Since 1985, amfAR has invested more than $366 million in its programs and has
awarded grants to more than 2,000 research teams worldwide.
About AVAC: Founded in 1995, AVAC is a non-profit
organization that uses education, policy analysis, advocacy and a network of
global collaborations to accelerate the ethical development and global delivery
of AIDS vaccines, male circumcision, microbicides, PrEP and other emerging HIV
prevention options as part of a comprehensive response to the pandemic.