2012 JUL 30 (NewsRx) -- By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at AIDS Weekly -- Two of the world's leading AIDS advocacy organizations released a global action agenda aimed at accelerating progress towards the end of the AIDS epidemic. Announced ahead of the XIX International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., the agenda identifies five major short-term priorities for global AIDS programs together with realistic, annual targets that must be achieved through 2015. The recommended actions, if taken together, could accelerate achievement of a "tipping point" in the global AIDS epidemic, at which - for the first time ever - the number of people gaining access to HIV therapy will outpace the number of people becoming newly infected (see also AVAC).
The report, An Action Agenda to End AIDS, was developed by AVAC and amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, and was informed by an analysis of modeling research and consultations with top HIV prevention experts. The Action Agenda, available online at www.EndingAIDS.org, will be the focus of a satellite session at the International AIDS Conference on Monday, July 23 at 6:30 p.m. ET, as well as a press conference on Tuesday, July 24 at 2:00 p.m. ET.
"It's time for talk about ending AIDS to make way for action," said Mitchell Warren, executive director of AVAC. "When we look back a decade from now, we'll judge ourselves on whether we made the kinds of hard choices outlined in this plan. If we do, we'll soon begin to bring the epidemic under control, creating a world defined by declining HIV infections and a growing capacity to treat people in need. If we don't, we will instead witness millions more preventable HIV infections and needless deaths."
Recent breakthroughs have expanded the range of effective HIV prevention methods and led to new optimism in the AIDS field. After clinical trials demonstrated that antiretroviral treatment (ART) in HIV-positive people can reduce the risk of HIV transmission, and that voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) and other new tools can significantly reduce the risk of HIV infection in HIV-negative people, leaders including U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton publicly embraced the possibility of creating an "AIDS-free generation." Despite these encouraging statements, however, global AIDS efforts continue to lack coherent priorities and are threatened by cuts in funding.
"At this moment of great opportunity, we need to be clear about the critical choices ahead," said Chris Collins, Vice President and Director of Public Policy at amfAR. "The world can begin to turn the epidemic around within the next three years - but only if we agree on the major priorities, commit to realistic milestones and hold ourselves accountable. This new agenda outlines the critical decisions we need to make in the coming years to put us on a path to beginning to end the AIDS epidemic."
Year-by-year action steps for all stakeholders
Keywords for this news article include: AVAC, Antiretrovirals, Drugs, Therapy, HIV/AIDS, RNA Viruses, Retroviridae, HIV Infections, Vertebrate Viruses, Primate Lentiviruses, Viral Sexually Transmitted Diseases.
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