World AIDS Day reminds us that the toll of the world’s longest pandemic continues throughout the year

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Inboxes fill fast on commemorative days like these with reminders of a challenge that has tragic impacts throughout the year. Often these days can seem to serve as a pass for remembering, discussing, pressing for solutions to the challenge on all the other days. In a year when a new pandemic has both dominated our thoughts and needs, while posing new obstacles to HIV service access and to progress in ambitious initiatives to end HIV as a pandemic, however, World AIDS Day, provided an important opportunity to examine lessons learned — and yet to be learned — from the last four decades. The Infectious Diseases Society of America and its HIV Medicine Association offered these:

On World AIDS Day, we must heed the lessons from COVID – Dr. Rajesh T. Gandhi, chair of the HIV Medicine Association and director of HIV Clinical Services and Education in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts notes impacts to HIV services across the country and around the world in this Hill opinion piece, noting that in the midst of significant gains in prevention, treatment and lives saved, “the coronavirus pandemic provided a stark reminder of how fragile our progress in HIV has been.”

Preserving Progress Toward Ending the HIV Pandemic Demands Resilience, Resources with Impacts This World AIDS Day – Noting setbacks to global and domestic HIV responses “that will be felt for years to come,” this release from IDSA and HIVMA calls on political leaders and policy makers to re-commit to ending HIV as a pandemic.

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