Lancet Editorial Examines Possibility Of ‘AIDS-Free Generation,’ PEPFAR Blueprint

“After three decades of global emergency responses and a series of scientific breakthroughs in the fight against HIV/AIDS, it is now tempting to ask if we are marching towards the end of AIDS,” an editorial in the Lancet states. Noting the November 29 release of the U.S. Government’s PEPFAR Blueprint: Creating an AIDS-Free Generation, the Lancet writes, “The first and foremost signal the report has sent is that the U.S. commitment to the global AIDS response will continue to be ‘strong, comprehensive and driven by science,'” and the report “calls on partner countries, civil society, donors, foundations, multilateral institutions, and people living with HIV to step up together and make concrete commitments.” The editorial continues, “The vision of ‘an AIDS-free generation’ in the blueprint relies heavily on scientific and technological feasibility … However, eradicating a disease goes far beyond scientific advances, which will go unrealized without strong social support and public health actions as well as substantial and sustainable investments.”

The Lancet says that while specifics about the financial resources needed to implement the blueprint were not detailed in the report, the question about cost “is imperative to ask and answer at this time of financial austerity.” The editorial also notes the increasing role of “non-traditional partners” in the global HIV response, “especially the emerging economies such as Brazil, India, and China.” The editorial concludes, “To seize precious scientific opportunities, a new global commitment involving and mobilizing all stakeholders is urgently needed if an AIDS-free generation is to be realized. Until then, the beginning of the end of HIV/AIDS is a long way off” (12/8).