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U.S. Draws Blueprint for an AIDS-Free Generation

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Praise for U.S. AIDS Blueprint

The "blueprint" sets out detailed plans to achieve five goals:

  1. Scale up the most effective prevention interventions and treatments. Clinton noted that Americans now directly pay for drugs that are saving the lives of 5.1 million people outside the U.S. -- twice as many as just four years ago.
  2. Go where the virus is by targeting the people at greatest risk. This includes not only sex workers and men who have sex with men, but women and girls at higher risk of HIV due to gender inequality and violence.
  3. Get the most out of each dollar spent by promoting sustainability, efficiency, and effectiveness.
  4. Share responsibility with partner countries.
  5. Invest in science, and make sure that all efforts are firmly based on scientific evidence of effectiveness. "It is science that has brought us to this point and it is science that will allow us to finish the job," Clinton said.

Praise for the U.S. plan, and for Clinton's efforts to promote it, comes from the United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS and from several AIDS advocacy organizations.

Praise also comes from longtime AIDS researcher Myron Cohen, MD, director of the Center for Infectious Diseases at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and a spokesman for the HIV Medicine Association.

"This is not business as usual. This is a real step forward," Cohen says. "This is a formal U.S. plan in a written blueprint that lays out a commitment to go forward."

At this summer's International AIDS Conference, the Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) laid out its own plan for bringing an end to AIDS.

Chris Collins, amfAR vice president and director of public policy, agrees that the U.S. blueprint is a major announcement.

"It is a really important document," Collins says. "It changes the conversation from hope for an AIDS-free generation to specific action steps we need to take."

One thing missing from the blueprint: money. The plan shows how to make the most of dollars spent on research, prevention, and treatment. It shows that such investments pay off many-fold in the future. But it doesn't say where those near-term dollars will come from.

"It is going to take choices, focus, and more resources," Collins says. "But what we have is a challenge to policy-makers in the U.S. and abroad. It shows what can be done. Now it is our charge to act on it."

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