July 23, 2012
Hillary Clinton Backs Demand for AIDS-Free Generation Blueprint
by Lauren Tuck
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called on U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Eric Goosby, in her remarks during the July 23 opening plenary at the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) in Washington, DC, to create a blueprint for the U.S. government to achieve an AIDS-free generation.
Sixty-five organizations banded together to ask President Barack Obama and his administration to draft a unified government-wide approach to ensure the success of, and increase funding for, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and PEPFAR.
Clinton obliged by calling upon Goosby—the United States Global AIDS Coordinator at the U.S. State Department responsible for overseeing U.S.-sponsored humanitarian aid programs to combat the AIDS epidemic internationally—to take the lead on developing the blueprint by World AIDS Day on December 1, 2012, outlining the goals and objectives for the next phase of the government’s effort to achieve an AIDS-free generation.
Clinton emphasized that making strides in eradicating HIV/AIDS worldwide requires addressing the needs of women, orphans and vulnerable children, and key populations at high risk of contracting HIV—including men who have sex with men (MSM), sex workers and injection drug users (IDUs).
Advocates applauded Clinton's response to their request for her to call for the blueprint. Chris Collins, vice president of policy for amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, said, "When you want to accomplish a complex goal you need a clear plan of action. Creation of a blueprint is an important step forward because it directs our planning, policy and funding toward achieving clear outcomes goals and will help everyone engaged monitor progress towards an AIDS-free generation."
The group of organizations believe that to achieve an AIDS-free generation—no one being born with HIV and a significantly reduced risk of becoming infected with the virus in later years, compared with today— the U.S. government needs to set priorities for interventions, such as HIV/AIDS treatment as prevention, male circumcision and distribution of condoms, and scaling up these and other efforts.
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