World AIDS Day 2014: Focus, Partner, Achieve
The theme of World AIDS Day 2014 on December 1 is “Focus, Partner, Achieve: An AIDS-Free Generation.” This year, nearly 14 million people had access to antiretroviral treatment—four million more than in 2012, our prevention toolkit continued to expand through new technologies like pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), and our understanding of how to reach the often-marginalized populations that bear the highest HIV burden improved, making the goal of an AIDS-free generation seem more achievable than ever before.
On November 18, the UN released a plan for how we can use these and other advances to end the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat by 2030 through ensuring that 95% of people living with HIV know their status, that 95% of those who know their status are on treatment, and that 95% of those accessing treatment have suppressed viral loads. “Ending the AIDS epidemic as a global health threat is no longer a dream. It can be a reality within 15 years if we accelerate action today,” states the report.
Meeting these targets would take us a long way towards defeating the epidemic, but with over 35 million people currently living with HIV, we can never truly end AIDS without a cure. This year, in response to many exciting recent research breakthroughs, amfAR launched its Countdown to a Cure for AIDS initiative, aiming to develop the scientific basis for a cure by 2020.
We will not reach the ambitious goals set this year without robust funding for global research, prevention, and treatment programs. According to the UN, “if we invest just $3 a day for each person living with HIV for the next five years, we would break the epidemic for good.” The UN also estimates that for every dollar invested in the fight against AIDS, the economic return is $15. However, in recent years, funding for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and AIDS research supported by the U.S. National Institutes of Health has declined.
World AIDS Day News of Note:
Congresswoman Barbara Lee and amfAR Chairman Kenneth Cole write about why we are at a critical turning point for ending AIDS in our lifetime on CNN.com.
amfAR Chairman Kenneth Cole discusses his decades of involvement in the fight against AIDS on Huffpost Live.
What You Can Do This December:
• Sign amfAR’s petition demanding that Congress restore $300 million in funding for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
• Visit www.worldaidscampaign.org for a calendar of World AIDS Day events around the world, or go to POZ.com for a U.S. event near you.
• Check out our shop and benefit amfAR by purchasing stylish amfAR-branded gear and other items.
• Benefit amfAR by purchasing An AIDS Quilt Songbook: Sing for Hope, an album featuring acclaimed performers such as Isabel Leonard and Joyce Didonato, accompanied by Yo-Yo Ma and Anthony McGill.