A promise, a petition, a push, the state of the global HIV response, and more

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The promise of an AIDS-free generation“: If you listened to the State of the Union Address this week hoping for mention of the epic response to the global HIV epidemic launched at a State of the Union Address a decade ago, you got it, when the President spoke of “realizing the promise of an AIDS-free generation, which is within our reach.” But uncertainty over funding for the global AIDS response continues, as does the reality that without money behind the words, and continued support for the combined efforts of the President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief, which released a Blueprint to create an AIDS-free generation, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the promise of an AIDS-free generation will be a promise unkept.

Commit Resources to ensure an AIDS-free generation: One of the responses to the President’s mention is here, a petition on the White House’s “We the People” petition web page, applauding the President’s words, and urging him to back them by funding the National AIDS Strategy and the Blueprint.

President Obama + AIDS-free Generation Promise = Fully Funded Global Fund: This Huffington Post commentary by ACTION director Kolleen Bouchane also welcomes the President’s remarks. “An AIDS-free generation is within our reach,” Bouchane writes, “but the choice President Obama makes in the next few weeks on the budget he sends to Congress will be more than a signal — it has the potential to acclerate progress around the world in a serious way. Or not.” Bouchane highlights the role of the Global Fund in her piece.

The Big Push to Defeat AIDS, TB, and Malaria: “Timing is critical,” new Global Fund Director Mark Dybul writes in this blog piece. “If we do not start to act this year, we may miss that opportunity.” He cites both the “window of time” to control the spread of disease, and the promising moment the Fund faces now to use a decade of learning and life-saving interventions to move forward. But, ironically, he notes, the scientific advances that can make a difference now come at a time of global financial uncertainty. “But I am convinced that we can, and must rise to the occasion,” he adds. Read how he says it can be done, here.

An update on sequestration’s human toll For the last year and a half amfAR has used projections of the funds that will automatically be sequestered if Congress doesn’t agree to a deal, and the organization has updated the human toll of those cuts, here. For more on amfAR’s take on what it will take to ensure an effective response, see the group’s topic page, here.

Zimbabwe: Living Positively Without ARVs: Finally, if you thought the bad old days of making do without medicine were too far behind to return, here is a reminder of how easily ground can be lost. This article in a Zimbabwean newspaper appeared this week. The secret, it seems, is having “the will to live.”

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