World AIDS Day Opportunity To Recognize, Build Upon Role Of U.S. Leadership In Global HIV/AIDS Response
The Hill: We can build on 15 years of U.S. leadership in the global AIDS response
Charles Holmes, co-director of Georgetown University’s Center for Global Health and Quality and co-chair of the WHO global HIV services quality working group
“World AIDS Day is always a good time to celebrate the enormous progress the world has made in combating the HIV epidemic and to recognize the U.S.’s exemplary leadership that has spanned multiple administrations and eight Congresses. This is especially the case after [this week’s] Senate passage of the PEPFAR Extension Act of 2018, passed earlier this month by the House and which is now on its way to the White House. … However, as UNAIDS reported earlier this year, we have miles to go before we actually end AIDS. … We must tighten up the gaps in our programs; doing so will magnify their impact. In addition to our relentless focus on our progress, we need to more closely examine our shortcomings through the lens of health care quality. … This includes developing national policy and strategy frameworks for quality and infusing better data and quality standards into health programs, whether for maternal, newborn, and child health, or HIV and TB. PEPFAR and the global community have recently taken substantial strides towards improving the quality of HIV programs. … 15 years of historic U.S. investment in PEPFAR and the Global Fund have created the foundations we need to be able to save millions more lives, while protecting entire societies against the destabilizing force of this epidemic. … It is my hope this World AIDS Day that our leaders in Congress and in the administration remember this history, and can envision the bright future ahead for millions of people if we remain committed to this fight” (11/29).