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Opinion Pieces, Editorial Recognize World AIDS Day

Thursday, December 1 was World AIDS Day. The following is a summary of several opinion pieces and an editorial published in recognition of the day. 

  • Rear Admiral Susan Blumenthal and Ashley Grosso, Huffington Post’s “Impact”: Blumenthal, senior policy and medical adviser at amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, and Grosso, an Allan Rosenfield fellow at amfAR, outline steps they feel necessary to reach the goal of an AIDS-free generation. “In order to achieve this, we must: 1) invest in research and accelerate the translation of science into services; 2) eradicate mother-to-child transmission of HIV worldwide; 3) scale-up evidence-based treatment and prevention strategies globally; and 4) eliminate the discrimination and stigma surrounding the disease,” they write (12/1).
  • Paul Boateng and Aaron Oxley, Guardian: “This World Aids Day we have some reason to celebrate: fewer people are contracting HIV,” but “[t]he gains made on HIV have been overshadowed by the decision last week by the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria to cancel all new funding for the three diseases until 2014,” Boateng, a former British high commissioner to South Africa, and Oxley, executive director of Results UK, write, adding, “This should be a wake-up call for all those who care about the health of families across the developing world. Our investment in the Global Fund has saved millions of lives. If we fail to act now, we risk losing the considerable ground we have gained in recent years and dramatically setting back our efforts to tackle these diseases by years” (12/1).
  • Elisha Dunn-Georgiou, GlobalPost’s “Global Pulse”: World AIDS Day “will be focused on a celebration of new technology and science that can help prevent HIV through daily treatment and male circumcision … but we should also not lose sight of women who need both family planning and HIV services,” Dunn-Georgiou, vice president of advocacy at Population Action International, writes, adding, “As the U.S. reaffirms its commitment to creating an AIDS-free generation on this World AIDS Day and prepares for the arrival of the XIX International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., next summer, meeting the needs of women and girls must remain central to that commitment,” including access to contraceptives (12/1).
  • Latanya Mapp Frett, Huffington Post’s “Black Voices”: The three steps to achieving an AIDS-free generation as outlined recently by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — “halting transmission from mothers to infants during childbirth, facilitating voluntary circumcision for men, and rapidly expanding access to treatment” — have “a fourth vital element that has long been neglected and must now be brought to the fore: integration … with family planning and reproductive health care,” Mapp Frett, vice president of global initiatives at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, writes, continuing, “On the political front, congressional conservatives and several presidential candidates are campaigning to defund the Global Health Initiative, reinstate Bush-era bans on reproductive health care, or cut foreign assistance altogether. Any one of these moves could cost lives and cripple the global response to HIV” (12/1).
  • San Francisco Chronicle: “At some point, it will be time to declare victory [on HIV/AIDS] and move on. Other diseases and social problems need attention, after all. But that moment hasn’t come yet. The AIDS trouble zone has grown far beyond gay men in urban America to nearly every population group on every continent,” this Chronicle editorial states, concluding that “the next phase is important to watch. At a time when the AIDS numbers are turning, will this country and others pull back or stay in the fight? This war isn’t over” (11/30).

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