We Are at a Choice Point in the Global Response to HIV and AIDS
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.
2030 will be a year of reckoning for the AIDS epidemic
It will mark fifty years of the first new human pandemic in modern times and one of the worst pandemics in the history of the world. In 2030, the 28th International AIDS Conference will doubtless include a panel of leaders looking back at what will be a fifty-year history of HIV and AIDS. What will the panelists say?
If HIV and AIDS have come back strongly in the 2020s, the panel will be called How We Lost the War Against AIDS, and the panelists will focus on the mistakes that led to a tragic humanitarian failure.
In a different future, a future in which HIV and AIDS are no longer threats to public health, the panel will be called How We Won the War Against AIDS, and the panelists will celebrate the wise decisions that led to a remarkable humanitarian triumph.
In human terms the difference between the two futures couldn’t be more chilling
In the best-case “win” scenario the current 900,000 annual AIDS deaths could be reduced to less than 340,000, with just 260,000 new HIV cases each year.
In the worse-case “lose” scenario the death toll could rise to over 1.4 million per year, with a staggering 1.9 million new cases of HIV.
Ending AIDS is doable, affordable, and would have huge human and economic benefits
We have a wide range of tools and resources for prevention, care, and treatment.
An increase of $8 billion per year globally will generate economic returns of more than $460 billion.
Choosing to end AIDS is a moral choice for which we have the know-how, the resources, and no excuse for not acting.