In a landmark speech delivered on November 8, Secretary Clinton called for the creation of an “AIDS-free generation,” noting that “an AIDS-free generation has never been a policy priority for the United States Government until now, because this goal would have been unimaginable just a few years ago.” Yet today, it is possible because of scientific advances largely funded by the United States, the creation of the President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) under the Bush Administration and continued under the Obama Administration, and the development and implementation of the first comprehensive National HIV/AIDS Strategy to address the U.S. HIV epidemic.
An AIDS-free generation means:
- Virtually no children will be born with the HIV.
- As these children become teenagers and adults, they will be at far lower risk of becoming infected than they would be today, thanks to a wide range of prevention tools.
- If they do acquire HIV, they will have access to treatment that will help prevent them from developing AIDS and passing the virus on to others.
Secretary Clinton’s call echoes the historic goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy:
- Reducing the number of people who become infected with HIV
- Increasing access to care and optimizing health outcomes for people living with HIV
- Reducing HIV-related health disparities
The theme for this year’s World AIDS Day – Leading with Science, Uniting for Action – reflects the U.S. Government’s (USG) commitment to build upon the strong scientific foundation and, for the first time, to set the goal of achieving an “AIDS-free generation.” This World AIDS Day, we look to the future of attaining this goal—and to the upcoming 2012 International AIDS Conference, AIDS 2012– which will take place in Washington, DC, on July 22-27.
The conference, which will be held in the U.S. for the first time in over 20 years, presents a unique opportunity for all of us working together to extend the message of World AIDS Day through the coming year, as well as to highlight the USG’s leadership, both globally and domestically, in the response to HIV/AIDS.
At the conference, we will gather with our colleagues from around the United States and the world to determine the next steps that will help translate the recent advances in HIV treatment, prevention, and care into action toward ending the pandemic. Public and private partners will be able to continue supporting and promoting the discovery, development, and implementation of science-based tools toward the goal of turning the tide to achieve a world without HIV/AIDS.
AIDS.gov has created an AIDS 2012 web page. Please visit this page periodically for updates and information about USG preparations for and activities at the conference.