Now Is Not the Time to Retreat on HIV-July 8, 2010 | by Francoise Girard, OSI Blog

In little more than seven years, the AIDS community has prevailed against many obstacles to show what the human spirit can achieve when it acts in bold and generous fashion. As we note in today's article, the creation of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) in 2002 and the establishment of the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in 2003 set the stage for rapid progress. Today, more than four million people are on ART in low and middle-income countries, alive, at work and in school, with their families and friends. Back in 2001, naysayers lined up to say this was impossible, unrealistic, or too costly.

Today, we know we can virtually eliminate transmission of HIV from mother to child, and save women's lives, by appropriate use of ART. From 2001 to 2008, new HIV infections decreased worldwide by 17 percent, and by higher margins in sub-Saharan Africa. Against great odds, as we wrote in today's article,

The GFATM catalyzed the introduction of needle exchange and/or methadone programs to prevent HIV infection in people who inject drugs in countries such as Azerbaijan, China, Georgia, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, and Ukraine and has adopted forward-looking strategies to address the pandemic as it affects women and girls and sexual minorities. Progress toward universal access has directly advanced efforts to achieve several of the U.N. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), especially those that relate to reducing child mortality and improving maternal health. Read further

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