What is an AIDS-Free Generation?

An AIDS-free generation entails that first, no one will be born with the virus; second, that as people get older, they will be at a far lower risk of becoming infected than they are today; and third, that if they do acquire HIV, they will get treatment that keeps them healthy and prevents them from transmitting the virus to others.

Progress Being Made:

Since Secretary Clinton declared that we can create an AIDS-Free Generation on Nov. 8, 2011, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and other agencies across the government have heeded the call and have been working to put us on the path to an AIDS-Free Generation by focusing on “combination prevention” — condoms, counseling and testing, and special emphasis on three core interventions: treatment as prevention, voluntary medical male circumcision, and stopping the transmission of HIV from mothers to children. Since Nov. 8, PEPFAR has made considerable progress on implementing the three core interventions by:

  • Funding nearly 600,000 more people since December, meaning that PEPFAR is reaching nearly 4.5 million people now – on track to meet the President’s goal of treating 6 million people by the end of 2013;
  • Supporting more than 400,000 male circumcision procedures since December; and
  • Reaching more than 370,000 women globally, putting PEPFAR on track to meet its target of reaching an additional 1.5 million women by the end of 2013.

Barriers to Overcome:

Secretary Clinton also stated that creating an AIDS-Free Generation requires addressing the critical needs of people living with HIV, including women, orphans and vulnerable children, and key populations at high-risk of contracting HIV.

Call to Action:

The Secretary called upon Ambassador Goosby to take the lead on developing a blueprint by World AIDS Day 2012 that outlines the goals and objectives for the next phase of our effort to achieve an AIDS-Free Generation. She also emphasized that other countries needed to step up to the plate and do their part, in particular by supporting the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria.

In addition to for calling for a blueprint for an AIDS-Free Generation, Secretary Clinton announced:

  • An additional $80 million to support innovative approaches that ensure HIV-positive pregnant women get the treatment they need to protect themselves, their babies, and their partners;
  • An additional $40 million to support South Africa’s plans to provide voluntary medical male circumcisions for almost half a million boys and men in the coming year;
  • $15 million for implementation research to identify the specific interventions that are most effective for reaching key populations;
  • $20 million to launch a challenge fund that will support country-led plans to expand services for their key populations; and
  • $2 million investment in the Robert Carr Civil Society Networks Fund to bolster the efforts of civil society groups in addressing key populations.

To learn more about the U.S. commitment to the global HIV/AIDS response, visit www.pepfar.gov.

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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