EDITOR’S NOTE: Lives saved and not increased coverage will be the parameter of the global AIDS campaign’s success, Jordan Smith quotes Michel Sidibé, head of the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS.
Like his predecessor, President Obama has made combating HIV/AIDS a priority, requesting $5.9 billion in the FY 2011 International Affairs budget, including $1 billion for the Global Fund, a slight increase over current levels. Friday marked the end of the International AIDS Conference in Vienna, where more than 20,000 delegates representing scientists, global health leaders and advocates convened to discuss the latest developments in the epidemic that now afflicts 33.4 million people worldwide. Despite new HIV/AIDS-fighting breakthroughs, brutal realities imposed by the financial crisis threaten to halt recent progress, according to the Head of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibé. Sidibe argues that prevention models are coming up short and treatment is not sustainable among rising costs. “Our success will not be measured by increased coverage but by the number of lives we are able to save,” said Sidibé.
Re-published with permission by the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition. Visit the original article.