amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

World AIDS Day 2012: Getting to Zero

Saturday, December 1, is World AIDS Day, an annual opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against this devastating pandemic.  It is a day for commemorating the 30 million people we have lost to AIDS-related causes, to honor the 34 million people living with HIV, and to recommit ourselves to creating a future without AIDS. 

 WAD 2012a 

From 2011 to 2015, World AIDS Day has the theme, Getting to zero: Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS-related deaths.

Commemorative events will be held in communities around the world.  Check with your local AIDS organizations, visit www.worldaidscampaign.org for a calendar of events, or go to POZ.com for a list of events in the United States. 

In commemoration of World AIDS Day, the UK-based organization, AVERT, has published a series of reflections by global leaders in the fight against AIDS.  amfAR CEO Kevin Robert Frost was invited to submit an article summarizing some of the Foundation’s recent research initiatives and it can be found here.

On November 29, in conjunction with World AIDS Day 2012, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton released a blueprint for an AIDS-free generation. “We want the next Congress, the next Secretary of State, and all of our partners here at home and around the world to have a clear picture of everything we’ve learned and a roadmap that shows what we will contribute to achieving an AIDS-free generation,” said Secretary Clinton when she announced the blueprint at the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July.

Officially titled “PEPFAR Blueprint: Creating an AIDS-Free Generation,” the report underscores the importance of the three core interventions Secretary of State Hillary Clinton emphasized in her November 2011 address at the National Institutes of Health: HIV treatment, voluntary medical male circumcision, and services to prevent vertical transmission (from mother to child). Additionally, the blueprint emphasizes the need for investments that focus on the populations most at risk for HIV infection, including gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM), sex workers, and injecting drug users (IDUs).

“Secretary Clinton’s commitment recognizes that we can’t achieve an AIDS-free generation unless we do much better at meeting the HIV needs of those groups at the center of the epidemic, including gay men and other MSM, injecting drug users, and sex workers,” said amfAR CEO Kevin Robert Frost.

“When you want to accomplish a complex goal—like starting to end the AIDS epidemic—you need a clear plan of action,” said Chris Collins, amfAR’s vice president and director of public policy. “Creating a blueprint is an important step forward because it directs our planning, policy, and funding toward achieving clear goals, and it will help everyone engaged in the process monitor our progress towards an AIDS-free generation."