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US Faces 'Ocean Of Need' In Combating HIV/AIDS In Africa

Armen Hareyan's picture

Global efforts to treat HIV-positive people in Africa have increased "massively," but there is still "an ocean of need," Washington Postcolumnist Michael Gerson writes in an opinion piece. According toGerson, the U.S. has taken an "undeniable ... leadership" role inproviding funding for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, but evencountries that have reduced new infections remain "overwhelmed by thedemand for treatment." About 25% of people who need antiretroviraldrugs in sub-Saharan Africa are receiving them, Gerson notes.

Accordingto Gerson, there is "no doubt" that, "short of an effective" HIV/AIDSvaccine, prevention is the long-term solution to the HIV/AIDS pandemic;however, HIV prevention "depends largely on changed sexual behavior,which is much more complicated than an operation or a pill." IncreasingHIV testing "is difficult to promote if AIDS is a death sentence,"Gerson writes, adding, "Treatment and prevention, in the end, cannot beseparated." The "goal" of universal access to treatment seems "morallyunavoidable," Gerson writes, adding that defeating HIV/AIDS willrequire "major new efforts in prevention" and "moving toward universaltreatment" (Gerson, Washington Post, 10/3).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view theentire Kaiser DailyHIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . TheKaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service ofThe Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.