We here at CGD tend to be critical of international agencies like WHO or the UNDP for establishing targets or guidelines without sufficient consideration of the impacts, for good and ill, of those guidelines in the affected countries. Such guidelines often apply standards more appropriate to rich countries and then pressure poor countries to behave as if they were rich.
CGD Policy Blogs
Controlling the HIV/AIDS Epidemic by 2020 Will Not End US Responsibilities in Severely Affected Countries
Although the Trump administration has pivoted away from global leadership in many foreign policy arenas, Secretary Tillerson’s September 19 announcement of administration support for PEPFAR’s newly released 2017 strategy is reassuring. In addition to affirming the administration’s commitment to continue PEPFAR support in all 50 previously designated PEPFAR countries, the secretary announced the intention to “accelerate progress toward controlling the pandemic in a subset of 13 countries, which represent the most vulnerable communities to HIV/AIDS and have the potential to achieve control by 2020.”
Bridging the Gap Between Health and Finance: How Can Finance Ministries Support a Sustainable HIV Response?
At our recent event, “How Can Finance Ministries Support a Sustainable HIV Response?” representatives from PEPFAR and the US Department of Treasury came together to discuss an innovative partnership between them and with finance ministries around the world. The partnership aims to improve the coordination and productivity of resources devoted to combatting HIV/AIDS in low- and middle-income countries, and to strengthen the long-term feasibility of these efforts.
Without PEPFAR, it’s safe to say that almost all of Africa would be stuck near zero HIV treatment coverage. Instead, 49 percent of HIV-infected people were receiving life-saving treatment in 2014, rising to 56 percent by 2015, and the top-performing countries are still gaining ground. This dramatic increase in treatment coverage is a prodigious achievement—and the United States deserves most of the credit. But despite these accomplishments, much more work is needed to reach the end of the epidemic.
UNAIDS and African AIDS Programs Agree That Effective HIV Prevention Depends on Location, Location, Location
As it does every year at this time, UNAIDS has released its World AIDS Day report. With five out of seven HIV infected people living in Africa, it is appropriate that the report is released here at the International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA) in Harare, Zimbabwe.
On World AIDS Day in 2003, WHO and UNAIDS launched a campaign called the “3 by 5 initiative,” with the objective to “treat three million people with HIV by 2005.” At that time, AIDS treatment was still prohibitively expensive for poor countries, where only a few thousand people had access to treatment. Thanks to President Bush’s creation of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program that same year, the number of people on antiretroviral therapy (ART) began to rise dramatically. While the total number of people on ART reached only one million in 2005, the objective to reach three million people was attained in 2007, and the numbers have continued to climb. The numbers have now surpassed 11 million in low- and middle-income countries and 13 million worldwide. (See bottom trend line in figure 1.)
As the Ebola outbreak in West Africa persists, some parallels are being drawn between the virus and HIV/AIDS.
CGD and its health team express our condolences to the families of all lost on MH17. We know that many of those attending the International AIDS Conference, which starts this week-end in Melbourne, have been touched personally by the AIDS researchers and activists lost on the plane and will deeply feel their loss.