NEW YORK, Nov. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This morning, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the release of a new "blueprint" to guide the U.S. government's landmark global AIDS initiative, PEPFAR. This document is a major milestone in the global effort to achieve an "AIDS-free generation."
Mitchell Warren, executive director of AVAC, issued the following statement in response to Secretary Clinton's announcement:
"PEPFAR's blueprint has enormous potential to accelerate global HIV prevention efforts. It rightly emphasizes that we need to 'follow the science' if we intend to deliver life-saving HIV prevention and treatment breakthroughs to millions of people worldwide. The blueprint underscores that success depends on scaling up combinations of effective strategies. It also places much-needed emphasis on voluntary medical male circumcision, which could prevent millions of HIV infections and do so more affordably than almost any other method today.
"It's particularly encouraging that the blueprint focuses on translating scientific breakthroughs into lives saved. Powerful new HIV prevention options could together lead to dramatic reductions in HIV infections, but we don't have all the information we need to scale them up in the right combinations for various communities. Urgent questions about the real-world use of new prevention tools in combination have been clear for months or even years, yet the work to answer them is barely under way. That's as unconscionable as it is unnecessary.
"The blueprint also recognizes that ending AIDS will not be easy or quick. While current options can have a tremendous impact, continued science and innovation are essential to ultimately halt new HIV infections and deaths from AIDS.
"The US has shown great leadership, and now it's time for the rest of the global community to step up. Frankly, we are not on pace to end AIDS – but we could be. Global agencies, governments, donors and advocates need to work with PEPFAR now to agree on the most urgent priorities, set specific goals and demonstrate real progress within the next year."
Earlier this week, AVAC issued a top-five list of essential global actions in 2013 to accelerate HIV prevention and set the world on a pace to end AIDS. The new report and other resources are available at AVAC.org.