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AVAC Report Finds That World is Already Falling Behind Pace to End AIDS Epidemic; Five Essential Actions Needed in 2013 to Avoid Historic Missed Opportunity
Date:11/27/2012

NEW YORK, Nov. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AVAC today issued a "top five" list of global actions needed in 2013 to accelerate HIV prevention efforts and preserve the opportunity to end the AIDS epidemic. The recommendations address urgent, unresolved challenges that threaten the delivery of powerful new HIV prevention methods that could help dramatically reduce the 2.5 million new HIV infections that occur worldwide every year. They include critical actions to speed access to HIV treatment, voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), and to safeguard vital new research on vaccines, microbicides, other HIV prevention options and a cure.

"Recent scientific breakthroughs give us reason to be optimistic like never before, but our chances of success are already imperiled," said Mitchell Warren, AVAC executive director. "Right now, the world isn't moving as fast as it should be to begin ending the epidemic. There is still time to get back on a winning pace but only with focused, aggressive action now. This can be the year that HIV prevention begins to achieve its potential – in fact, it has to be."

The priorities are featured in a new report, Achieving the End: One Year and Counting, which offers AVAC's critical assessment of progress achieved since global leaders began to discuss the opportunity to "begin to end AIDS" in late 2011. The report reflects input from HIV prevention leaders across a broad spectrum.

"We have a narrow window to translate the past year's excitement into life-saving changes on the ground," said Dr. Helen Rees, Executive Director of the Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute (WRHI) in South Africa and a member of AVAC's board of directors. "The possibility of ending AIDS is very much alive but depends on much bolder leadership, increased coordination and agreement on a clear set of short-term priorities."

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