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Controlling the HIV epidemic: ambitious funding, expanded workforce, innovations and micro-focus needed
Keith Alcorn, 2016-10-19 17:50:00

Advocates who seek to end AIDS by 2030 should be ready to call on Hillary Clinton to massively increase United States support for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS and the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief if she wins next month’s US presidential election, Professor Jeffery Sachs of Columbia University told the International Association of Providers in AIDS Care’s `Controlling the HIV Epidemic with Antiretrovirals` summit last week in Geneva.

“We have arrived at a breakpoint where we can do something new. Politicians listen to this community if it is clear, if it is timely. President Clinton will listen on January 20. She has waited a long time to be President.”

Professor Sachs called for the US to give an additional $10 billion a year for the Global Fund and PEPFAR in addition to $4.3 billion already pledged to the Fund between 2017 and 2019 and $4.3 billion allocated in 2016.

“Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan cost $5 trillion. For what? Don’t ever let the US government tell you it hasn’t got the money to do this. The top 12 hedge fund managers earned $10.2 billion in 2015. They make enough money themselves to fund this.”

In addition to funding, two major challenges face the global AIDS response between now and 2030, the meeting heard. Expanding the capacity of the health system to treat all who need antiretroviral therapy will require millions of community health workers to be recruited and trained, while limiting new infections in sub-Saharan Africa will be impossible without a greater focus on young women and their partners, and on understanding the ways in which many micro-epidemics in key populations and localities can be controlled with the right mix of interventions.