Are we losing the fight against AIDS?

Last week’s meeting at the United Nations was meant to bring heads of state and civil society together to discuss the world’s progress on fighting AIDS. The news wasn’t so good. And while there has been progress on some fronts – notably that global AIDS funding is actually meeting UN targets  – most of the targets were ...

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Last week's meeting at the United Nations was meant to bring heads of state and civil society together to discuss the world's progress on fighting AIDS. The news wasn't so good. And while there has been progress on some fronts - notably that global AIDS funding is actually meeting UN targets  - most of the targets were missed: on people receiving antiretroviral treatment, on lowering the number of young people being infected, on lowering the percentage of infected infants born to infected mothers. And then there was the sideshow about language in the final declaration.

So to get a handle on where the fight against the epidemic goes from here, FP spoke with Dr. Christoph Benn of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria about which countries are addressing AIDS effectively, whether big pharma has had a change of heart, and whether we'll see an AIDS vaccine soon. Of particular worry, says Benn, is donor fatigue:

[T]he greatest challenge is perhaps the fatigue among the international community. There is the perception now that we’ve done a lot and the resources have increased, so we can move on. That would be a disaster.

Last week’s meeting at the United Nations was meant to bring heads of state and civil society together to discuss the world’s progress on fighting AIDS. The news wasn’t so good. And while there has been progress on some fronts – notably that global AIDS funding is actually meeting UN targets  – most of the targets were missed: on people receiving antiretroviral treatment, on lowering the number of young people being infected, on lowering the percentage of infected infants born to infected mothers. And then there was the sideshow about language in the final declaration.

So to get a handle on where the fight against the epidemic goes from here, FP spoke with Dr. Christoph Benn of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria about which countries are addressing AIDS effectively, whether big pharma has had a change of heart, and whether we’ll see an AIDS vaccine soon. Of particular worry, says Benn, is donor fatigue:

[T]he greatest challenge is perhaps the fatigue among the international community. There is the perception now that we’ve done a lot and the resources have increased, so we can move on. That would be a disaster.

Carolyn O'Hara is a senior editor at Foreign Policy.

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