Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called on the world to work
together with the United States to achieve the goal of an AIDS-free generation
during an address at the NIH.
At first, doctors knew virtually nothing about this disease,
Clinton said. We have the chance to give countless lives and futures to
millions of people who are alive today, but equally, if not more importantly,
to an entire generation yet to be born.
Clinton defined an AIDS-free generation as one in which no children are
born with the virus, teenagers and adults are at a far lower risk of getting
the virus because of prevention tools, and those who acquire HIV have access to
treatment that prevents them from developing AIDS and passing the virus to
Through the US Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR),
the United States is using science to guide policies, strengthen programs and
maximize the effect of US efforts in achieving an AIDS-free generation.
At a time when people are raising questions about Americas
role in the world, our leadership in global health reminds the world of who we
are and what we do. Our efforts must begin with the American public from people
living with the disease, to those studying the disease in American medical
centers, Clinton said. I want the American people to understand the
irreplaceable role that the US has played in the
fight against HIV/AIDS. It is our tax dollars that
made this possible. The world could not have come this far without us, and it
will not defeat AIDS without us.
She identified three key interventions that are pivotal to achieving
this goal: prevention of mother-to-child transmission of AIDS, voluntary
medical male circumcision and treatment as prevention. According to Clinton,
effective treatment of a person living with HIV reduces the risk of
transmission to a partner by 96%.
None of the interventions can create an AIDS-free generation by
itself, she said. But the combination of prevention methods can. As
the world scales up its combination prevention, the number of infections will
Clinton issued a call to action to the world to achieve the goal of an
AIDS-free generation, including three steps that must be taken: letting science
guide the efforts, putting more emphasis on country ownership of their
AIDS programs and having other donor nations do more,
including supporting and strengthening the Global Fund to Fight AIDS,
Tuberculosis and Malaria.
The goal of an AIDS-free generation may be ambitious, but it is
possible, Clinton said. An AIDS-free generation may be one of the
greatest gifts we give our future.