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Global Community Can End AIDS With Continued Commitment, Shared Responsibility

“As recently as 10 years ago, AIDS was a death sentence for many, and experts warned that in parts of the world, we had reached a point literally of no return,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry writes in the Huffington Post’s “The Big Push” blog. “But what I remember most [from that time] — and what I’ve been privileged to be part of every step of the way — is how everybody came together to push back against that pessimism,” he states, reflecting on the global response to the AIDS epidemic over the past decade. “Now, with World AIDS Day and the meeting at the White House and the follow-on conference [for the replenishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria], we are renewing that commitment,” he writes, adding, “But the battle is not won. There are major challenges ahead and they will require major commitments to live up to the memory of all those for whom it was too late and to make sure we are not too late to save another generation.”

“Now to meet the challenge of PEPFAR’s second decade we have to transform America’s role,” and South Africa, Rwanda, and Namibia “provide a model for how PEPFAR is transitioning from providing direct aid to delivering support for locally run and self-sustaining efforts,” he states, adding, “And greater commitments from our partners in the Global Fund should give greater confidence to this initiative.” Kerry writes, “We know that working to achieve an AIDS-free generation will continue to pose an incredible test,” concluding, “But with our continued commitment, I am certain that we can all look forward not only to passing that test, but to working with each other and providing a new definition of the character of our nation and the character of our global spirit” (12/3).