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Essay Discusses Social, Political Responses, Successes In Global AIDS Epidemic

The Conversation: AIDS: how far the world has come and how far it needs to go to get to zero
Lawrence O. Gostin, professor of global health & director of the O’Neill Institute at Georgetown University

“There is no story in global health as transformative, awe-inspiring, and yet as tragic as the AIDS pandemic. … The socio-political response was, at best, denial, ignorance, and silence. … But by 2010, UNAIDS announced a goal that was once unimaginable: getting to zero. Zero new infections, zero AIDS-related deaths, and zero discrimination. … [S]ocial mobilization [around AIDS] … unleashed unprecedented resources in global health — new funding for biomedical research, vaccines, and treatment. Moreover, social mobilization around AIDS literally transformed global health governance. … Although the international community has rallied to fight AIDS, fierce debates have raged within the movement. … These battles ensued within both domestic health sectors and foreign health assistance budget debates. They remain topics of lively debate” (2/16).