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Will the HIV/AIDS Pie Grow Again?

I moderated a debate this morning, one in a series on HIV/AIDS issues sponsored by the World Bank and USAID. This was the topic: “Countries should spend a majority of what is likely to be a flat or even declining HIV prevention budget on ‘treatment as prevention.’” The pro and con sides were each represented by two eminent and articulate medical doctor/scientist/researcher/public health experts.

Achieving an AIDS Transition - Mead Over

My guest this week is Mead Over, one of the world’s leading experts on the global response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. We discuss his new book, Achieving an Aids Transition: Preventing Infections to Sustain Treatment. The key idea is simple but powerful. Mead argues that, instead of reaching vainly for the unsustainable goal of offering treatment to everyone in the developing world who needs it, donor policy should aim to sustain current treatment levels while reducing the number of new infections below the number of AIDS deaths, so that the total number of people with HIV/AIDS declines.

“The escalating number of people infected with HIV/AIDS is far outpacing available funding for treatment, especially in Africa,” Mead tells me. “Only by holding deaths down and preventing new infections will the total number of people with HIV decline and an AIDS transition be reached.”

Women, Development, and the Arab Spring: Moving from Protest to Political Participation

This is a joint post with Jessica Brinton

At a recent CGD breakfast with Johnny West on his new book Karama! Journeys Through the Arab Spring, our colleague Mead Over asked how women would benefit from the Arab Spring. Though he speaks Arabic and has spent 20 years in the region, West didn’t have much to share about the role and prospects of women. As West explained, he had very few opportunities to interact with women. Unfortunately, this is a piece of a broader reality: even when women have played a huge role in protest movements, they are rarely represented in accounts of the revolution.

How Would You Spend an Additional $10 Billion on AIDS in Africa Over the Next Five Years?

This is the question which the Rush Foundation has asked the Copenhagen Consensus Centre to address by deploying their buzz-producing approach of:

(1) commissioning “Assessment Papers” on competing ways to spend a hypothetical additional $10 billion on HIV/AIDS in Africa over five years;

(2) commissioning “Perspective Papers” by discussants who critique the Assessment Papers and suggest alternatives;

Driving Demand for Vaccinations

This blog was co-authored with Orin Levine, Executive Director, International Vaccine Access Center, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and it will be cross-posted on his Huffington Post blog at www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-orin-levine

In low- and middle-income countries, children living in poverty are much less likely to be vaccinated and more likely to die or become ill from a vaccine-preventable disease than better-off children. An example comes from Nigeria, where less than 5% of children in the lowest quintile of the wealth distribution were fully vaccinated in 2003, as opposed to 40% of children in the wealthiest quintile. (For more on inequalities in health, see here)

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