New York, NY — AVAC welcomes today’s remarks by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as the first step in an ambitious vision for ending the global AIDS epidemic.
“Secretary Clinton rightly recognized that this is an era of unprecedented opportunity for changing the course of the AIDS epidemic and making an AIDS-free generation a reality. The announcement of an additional US$ 60 million for combination prevention impact evaluation in four countries is a useful first step in terms of realizing the vision. In the coming months, it will be critical for the Obama Administration to build on the plan that she outlined with specific commitments and objectives for the near-, mid- and long-term,” said Mitchell Warren, AVAC executive director.
Secretary Clinton emphasized three core prevention strategies that, if fully implemented, would lead to an AIDS-free generation: prevention of mother-to-child transmission, voluntary medical male circumcision and effective antiretroviral treatment for people who are HIV positive.
“HIV testing and counseling programs are the foundation for each of the interventions Secretary Clinton described, and it will be critical for the Obama Administration to focus on massive scale-up of innovative, ethical testing programs as part of its articulated plan for an AIDS-free generation,” Warren said.
“It is also critical to sustain investments in research and development of additional powerful prevention tools, including pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) using ARVs in HIV-negative people, microbicides, and an AIDS vaccine,” Warren added. “If voluntary medical male circumcision, treatment as prevention and prevention of mother to child transmission are taken to scale, the number of new infections will plummet. Deploying additional tools over the long term,could help realize the greatest achievement of ending the AIDS epidemic in our lifetime.”
“This is truly a new era in the AIDS response, with unprecedented opportunities. Research has brought us a host of new ways to prevent HIV, but we have a long way to go before realizing their full potential. Having identified these key areas, the United States needs to continue to show leadership by articulating a clear plan with milestones for progress. Other developed and developing country governments, communities and donors need to show leadership, ownership and initiative as no single nation can end the epidemic on its own.”
AVAC will release its annual report on the state of global HIV prevention at the end of November, laying out a science-based prescription for the coming decade to realize the end of the AIDS epidemic.
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.