Progress In AIDS Fight Must Be An Impetus For Increasing Investment, Sustaining Advancements In Africa

In this post in the Huffington Post’s “Impact” blog, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe examines the role of the fight against AIDS in sustaining economic and social development in Africa. “Africa is breaking records,” he writes, noting the economic growth, increased access to information, rise in democracy, decline in poverty, increased school enrollment — especially for girls — and decline in AIDS-related deaths on the continent. “Africa is now poised to push towards a new vision of: zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths,” and “it needs everyone’s support,” he continues.

“[T]he African Union at its summit meeting in January tasked the African Union Commission and its executing body NEPAD to work with UNAIDS to create a road map for shared responsibility,” Sidibe writes, adding, “UNAIDS estimates that there is a gap of $3-4 billion between what is available today and what is needed in 2015 for Africa.” He stresses the need for domestic investment in Africa and concludes, “To continue to break records and sustain advancements, the results of the AIDS response must be an impetus for increasing investments, not decreasing them. Preventing AIDS is a smart investment that Africa and the world need to make” (3/15).