As World AIDS Day approaches, leading physician‐scientists called on the White House and Congress to continue the scale‐up of HIV prevention and treatment services in the developing world and to preserve U.S. leadership in the battle against this deadly epidemic.
The Obama Administration is expected to release its five‐year global AIDS strategy on Dec. 1—World AIDS Day. In a Global Center press release, HIV/AIDS doctors and researchers said the Administration’s new plan should set bold new treatment targets for PEPFAR, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, and include robust funding levels to fulfill promises made in the landmark Lantos‐Hyde legislation, which calls for spending $48 billion over five years on global AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
“Less than a decade ago, some questioned the viability of providing HIV treatment to poor patients in the developing world. Today, we have extraordinary evidence of PEPFAR’s success ‐more than 2 million people in resource‐poor countries have avoided severe diseases and untimely deaths through access to antiretroviral drugs,” said Kenneth Mayer, MD, co‐chair of Global Center’s scientific advisory committee and a professor at Brown University, where he directs the AIDS Program.
But Dr. Mayer noted that the majority of people who need lifesaving antiretroviral therapy still do not have access to it. “Without continued scale up of HIV treatment, millions of people in the developing world are likely to succumb to this chronic, treatable disease—with devastating consequences for their families and their communities,” he said.
Read the full press release on the Global Center’s website.