Action Needed To Reach Ambitious Targets Set Forth In President’s World AIDS Day Speech

President Barack Obama’s December 1 World AIDS Day speech “could be pivotal, but only if it is followed by changes in how we tackle global AIDS,” Chris Collins, vice president and director of public policy at amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, writes in this Huffington Post “Global Motherhood” opinion piece. “Obama signaled a renewed U.S. commitment to funding for global AIDS programs at a time when resources at home are constrained and other countries are backing away from the fight,” he writes, adding, “Now it’s time to plot a course for implementing the president’s vision.”

Collins outlines a number of strategies for meeting these targets, and writes, “Four things are critical to success and deserve immediate attention: strategic decision-making, increased funding, balancing global targets with attention to the most vulnerable, and research.” He discusses funding challenges and concludes, “We have entered a time of huge promise in the AIDS epidemic, but with it exists the very real threat that we will squander this opportunity by under-investing or failing to use money wisely. Now is the time for governments rich and poor, donors, providers, researchers, and advocates to find new resources — and make smarter use of them — to begin to end the most deadly epidemic of our time” (2/6).