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Much Progress Made Against HIV/AIDS, But Continued Support Needed To Save Lives

Singer and songwriter Annie Lennox and Mitchell Besser, an obstetrician and gynecologist who founded mothers2mothers, a South African-based HIV care and support organization, write about their involvement with HIV/AIDS in the Huffington Post’s “Big Push” blog. “The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria launched in 2002 and the U.S. government’s PEPFAR program, launched in 2003 and renewed in 2008, pumped billions of dollars into Ministries of Health and non-governmental organizations across Africa to build health systems and provide HIV/AIDS care,” Besser writes, adding, “Organizations like the Clinton Foundation worked with pharmaceutical companies to make antiretroviral treatment affordable. Civil society groups like South Africa’s Treatment Action Campaign fought for access to care. And in small steps and then big, care was delivered.”

He discusses progress made over the past decade, writing, “We’ve done so much but there’s so much more that needs to be done.” He continues, “With the clock ticking towards the end of the Millennium Development Goals, we need to raise awareness. We need to ensure that nations continue to contribute generously to the Global Fund. We need to encourage the U.S. people to continue their humanitarian support for PEPFAR funding. Without sustained resources, all progress stops. The tragedy of each life lost is immeasurable; the tragedy of not completing what we’ve started is inconceivable” (9/20).