As one of the civil society organizations which originally called for what we then referred to as an AIDS-Free Generation Strategic Plan, the Alliance congratulates Secretary of State Clinton, Global AIDS Coordinator Eric Goosby, and the U.S. Government for quickly producing such a high-quality and concrete blueprint.
As Secretary Clinton stated, achieving an AIDS-free generation is ambitious but reachable. In this difficult budget environment, the Alliance looks to the White House to work with Congress to maintain funding for PEPFAR and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund) to make it possible for reaching the ambitions of the blueprint. The blueprint describes a compelling vision – of a world close to a tipping point and able to achieve an AIDS-free generation – and resonant principles including making smart investments, sharing responsibility, increasing gender equality, and ending stigma and discrimination.
The Roadmap on Savings Lives reiterates the recent U.S. Government focus on three biomedical interventions – prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT), treatment as prevention, and male circumcision. Importantly, the roadmap explicitly includes HIV testing and counseling, condoms, and other prevention interventions as a fourth focus. The Alliance appreciates that the blueprint emphasizes structural factors including human rights and stigma and discrimination.
The Roadmap on Smart Investments appropriately targets efforts to where the virus is. As a human rights-based organization, the Alliance appreciates the explicit reference to key populations– including men who have sex with men (MSM), persons who inject drugs (PWIDs), and sex workers (and we would include transgender people) and the commitment to scaling up services and removing barriers in all regions of the world. This roadmap also notes that the U.S. Government has been and will remain the largest donor to the Global Fund.
The Roadmap on Shared Responsibility stresses country-led, managed, and implemented responses. As a organization supporting community action on HIV, health, and human rights, the Alliance welcomes that the U.S. Government defines country ownership beyond the government to civil society and is committed to continued strong financial and technical support for community based organisations to ensure sustainability and quality of the response. Civil society and communities play a key role in both service delivery for marginalized and hard-to reach populations and as advocates for rights-based HIV programmes and an enabling environment.
The world is indeed at a tipping point, and Secretary Clinton, Ambassador Goosby, and the U.S. Government today pushed us closer to the end of AIDS.