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Sec. of State Clinton Reveals Blueprint To Combat HIV/AIDS Worldwide

Sec. of State Clinton Reveals Blueprint To Combat HIV/AIDS Worldwide

December 3, 2012 — Secretary of State Hilary Clinton on Thursday released a strategic plan for fighting HIV/AIDS worldwide that emphasizes investments in prevention and early treatment for HIV-positive individuals, The Hill's "Healthwatch" reports (Viebeck, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 11/29).

The 54-page document states that an "AIDS-free generation" can be achieved through steps such as expanding access to antiretroviral therapy, circumcising men in high-prevalence countries and ensuring that every HIV-positive pregnant woman receives treatment.

According to the Washington Post, the number of people contracting HIV in many high-prevalence countries outpaces the number of those starting antiretroviral therapy (Brown, Washington Post, 11/29).

In a speech describing the plan, Clinton said it is possible to foresee a time when the number of individuals receiving treatment worldwide exceeds the number of new infections (Quinn, Reuters, 11/29). "As we continue to drive down the number of new infections and drive up the number of people on treatment, we will get ahead of the pandemic and an AIDS-free generation will be in sight," she said (Knox, "Shots," NPR, 11/29).

The blueprint does not include specific targets, cost estimates or funding sources for reaching the "tipping point" where the number of new infections is fewer than those beginning treatment, according to the Post.

The document also outlines how HIV/AIDS rates in Cambodia, Kenya, Uganda and Zambia would change under three different scenarios. The first is based on the current levels of treatment and prevention, the second increases treatment coverage to 80% for individuals with advanced infections and the third expands treatment coverage to 80% for individuals with less-advanced infections (Washington Post, 11/29).