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Science Should Inform Global AIDS Policy

Thirty years have passed since the first reported case of AIDS, and “we now have an unprecedented opportunity, based on solid scientific data, to control and ultimately end the AIDS pandemic,” after decades of the idea being “a distant aspiration because we lacked sufficient evidence-based tools to convert the hope to reality,” Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, writes in a Science editorial.

“Global implementation of HIV interventions, including scale-up of the delivery of ART, must be accelerated, and this will be costly. Certainly, there are many competing priorities for scarce resources in the global health arena, such as other infectious diseases, maternal and child health, and tobacco control. But if one accepts the tenet that science should inform policy, then the scientific data are speaking loud and clear. Global policy-makers must seriously consider these new data in their priority-setting and decision-making,” Fauci writes, concluding, “Major investments in implementation now will save even greater expenditures in the future; and in the meantime, countless lives can be saved” (7/1).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.