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Is the Recent Pledge by Governments to Eradicate HIV AIDS Really Enough?

Alain Lafeuillade
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Posted on Wednesday, 15 June 2011
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Recently, a group of government leaders met at a special United Nations summit that had the sole purpose of charting out the global response to AIDS over the next decade.  They made a pledge to eradicate HIV AIDS over the next ten years.  Technically, the pledge was to reach triple zero over the next decade.  The idea is to have zero new infections, zero AIDS related deaths, and to reduce the stigma associated with the disease to zero, all in the next ten years.  While it is an admirable pledge and goal, is making the pledge really enough?  It depends on who you ask.

Certain AIDS activists feel the document does not go far enough, noting that while most every one of the 3,000 heads of state, other political leaders, activists, and civil citizens attending the meeting were on board, no one brought a check book.  Paul De Lay, Deputy Executive Director of UNAIDS acknowledged that reaching the goals laid out in the pledge was going to take money.  He stated that United Nations member states pledged to close the financial gap by increasing funding for AIDS by 2015 to between $22 and $24 billion.  However, no country made a specific financial commitment.

Some of the specific target areas of the pledge include more than doubling the amount of people receiving treatment in low- and middle- income countries, cutting the sexual transmission of HIV in half, ensuring no babies are born infected with the virus, and reducing the number of those infected through drug use, all by 2015.  While activists are pleased yet skeptical, UNAID's De Lay says he is pleased with the final declaration.  And it appears that no one is really unhappy with it since the 16-page document is, after all, a good thing.  But there are definitely those who feel that more could have been done.

Those are the ones who maintain that if the pledge is going to be met, then someone has to start showing the money at the upcoming G20 summit in November.   Some feel there were issues getting everything together due to certain conservatives fighting over wording, wanting to leave out references to sex education and homosexuals.  However, in the end, everyone does agree on one thing.  What the document accomplishes is a good thing, and everyone hopes the goals it sets forth are accomplished and more within the next decade. If this is the case, it will have served its purpose.


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