HIV and AIDS in 2030: A Choice Between Two Futures
HIV and AIDS in 2030: A Choice Between Two Futures

Blog Articles

HIV and AIDS in 2030: A Choice Between Two Futures

Mexico City, IAS Conference on HIV Science

This year’s International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Science was held in Mexico City, July 21-24. There was a particularly useful press conference on Monday discussing a report about the future of the AIDS response, based on good success in six locations around the world.

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David Barstow
It Is Not Too Late To Choose The Future

The window of opportunity is closing, but it is not too late to choose a future in which HIV and AIDS are no longer global health threats, in which the HIV epidemic in the United States is over, and in which faith leaders and communities are strong vital partners in ending AIDS

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David Barstow
We Are at a Choice Point in the Global Response to HIV and AIDS

A remarkable, decades-long global effort has given us the capability to end AIDS as a public health threat. However, the global political will to end AIDS is weakening, raising the risk of a major resurgence of the epidemic in the 2020s, with millions of lives at stake. We are at a choice point in the global response to HIV and AIDS, choosing between two very different futures, either winning or losing the war against AIDS. In human terms the difference between the two futures is characterized by millions of needless AIDS-related deaths and millions of needless new HIV infections. Winning the war against AIDS is doable, but it requires an explicit choice to do so.

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David Barstow
The AIDS Epidemic Is Not Over

Many people think that the AIDS epidemic is over, that advances in science and medicine have solved the problem, that we don’t need to worry about it anymore.  But the reality is that the war against AIDS is not yet over.  The scientific and medical advances have been remarkable, but we still need to make sure that everyone who needs the medication can get it.  So we could win the war against AIDS.  The question is whether the world has the collective will to do so.  If the answer is no, then the results will be catastrophic, with millions of people needlessly dying.

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David Barstow
Peter Piot: Barstow's Message Is Both Startling And Clear

While we have made enormous progress in the HIV response in many countries, we are not on track to end AIDS. Barstow’s book shows the critical juncture the global community faces in turning the tide on the epidemic. Barstow’s message is both startling and clear: we must act now to reboot and recharge our efforts to deliver sustainable results for people and communities across the world.

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David Barstow
Jonathan Quick: Barstow Is Both a Scientist and an Activist

On a balmy Sunday evening in July, 2000, President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa stood up to warmly welcome 12,000 of us gathered in Durban for the biennial International AIDS Conference.  He then proceeded to lay out his AIDS denialism manifesto, claiming that AIDS treatment was a CIA-Big Pharma plot.  That manifesto cost nearly a half-million South African lives before AIDS activists forced a policy reversal.  Today South Africa has the largest AIDS treatment program in the world.

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David Barstow
Richard Stearns: The Choice Is Ours To Make

In 2001, when World Vision was ramping up its AIDS prevention initiatives, I called HIV a “Doomsday Virus”; the kind of apocalyptic pathogen that is the stuff of disaster movies.  It stalked its prey silently, passed from husband to wife and mother to child, showed no symptoms for months or even years so that it could continue to be transmitted unnoticed, and was effectively 100% fatal.  To make it worse, because it was spread through sexual contact, it became taboo to even discuss it openly.

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David Barstow
Christian Connections for International Health

While commitments from governments and large international organizations to fund AIDS research, treatment and prevention are critical, the saying “Think globally, act locally” may be appropriate for how faith leaders can make a difference in their own communities. David Barstow, a Computer Science PhD who is now President of CCIH member EMPACT Africa, which focuses on empowering faith leaders to end the stigma of AIDS, shares his thoughts on the global effort to end the epidemic and the necessity of local actions.

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David Barstow
In 2017, It's Not Too Late for a Common Voice of Faith about AIDS

Religious institutions and faith communities have had a mixed history in the AIDS epidemic.  On the one hand, religious institutions were some of the earliest to provide care and services to people living with HIV, and they continue to play a vital role today.  Literally, millions of people depend on services provided by religious institutions.  On the other hand, stigma toward people living with HIV and toward marginalized populations often has a religious basis.  Even today, many people involved in fighting AIDS cite religion as a barrier rather than as an asset.  At the same time, AIDS leaders often say that it will be impossible to end AIDS without a strong contribution from faith leaders and communities.

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David Barstow