Obama Should Announce Scale-Up Of AIDS Treatment Programs

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s recent speech calling for an “AIDS-free generation” through the use of multiple prevention strategies, including more widespread antiretroviral therapy, “was a dramatic reversal of U.S. policy, which has historically viewed treatment more as a costly expense rather than our most powerful prevention investment,” physician Loretta Ciraldo and Katrina Ciraldo, a student at Boston University School of Medicine, write in this Miami Herald opinion piece.

“Epidemiologic modeling now shows that if we invest in ending AIDS by scaling up access to treatment, we can prevent 12 million new infections between now and 2020. That’s … 12 million steps closer to an AIDS free world,” they write, concluding, “PEPFAR has almost reached the treatment goal it set for 2013, so President Obama should take the next step and announce bold and concrete plans to scale-up treatment. Doing so on World AIDS Day, he could demonstrate to the rest of the world that we must take advantage of this unique turning point in history” (11/22).