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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
GLOBAL: Clinton to Urge Using Latest Science in New AIDS Push
Betsy McKay
November 8, 2011
Wall Street Journal (11.08.11) - Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is scheduled to give a speech today at the National Institutes of Health, where she is expected to call for a worldwide scaling up of HIV/AIDS efforts.

Scientific developments have advanced prevention and treatment of HIV, which has infected more than 60 million people and been the cause of death for some 30 million since the AIDS epidemic began 30 years ago. New models show that an approach that includes the use of condoms, male circumcision, preventing mother-to-child infections, and early antiretroviral (ARV) treatment could trigger a sharp decline in new infections, which currently stand at about 2.6 million annually.

The modeling stems from a groundbreaking study published in May, which found that placing patients on ARVs at the start of their infection reduced transmission risk to sexual partners by 96 percent compared to those who started on drugs later.

Concurrently, the cost of providing ARVs globally has dropped. John Blandford, an economist with CDC's global AIDS program, said the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief spent 57 percent less per patient last year than in 2004, when the program launched. The savings stem from using generic drugs and investing in health infrastructures, and from greater efficiencies in the supply chain, he said.

An increase in prevention efforts will require new funding, but getting major government donors on board may be a challenge. Governments' contributions to AIDS dropped 9.7 percent in 2010 to $6.9 billion, according to UNAIDS and the Kaiser Family Foundation. The US House and Senate are considering global health appropriations that are below what President Obama requested for fiscal 2012, likely translating to a slight reduction in funding from fiscal 2011, said Jennifer Kates, KFF's director of global health and HIV policy.