The AIDS Endgame

Could this year mark the beginning of the end of AIDS? Can the UN Millennium Development Goal regarding HIV/AIDS really be achieved? Yes, we have reached a crucial tipping point regarding this brutal epidemic, but a renewed effort is needed to finally topple it.

Without considering the cost of research into new treatments and vaccines, UNAIDS suggests that "$22-24 billion is needed annually to achieve core outcomes on treatment and prevention by 2015." Yet, funding is short by about $3-5 billion. Economist Jeffrey Sachs explains the impact that this money could have: "Five billion dollars we know in macroeconomics is nothing in this world… that may not sound so consequential, but when you're in a village and the rapid diagnostic tests aren't there, there's a medical stock out, the antiretrovirals aren't there, this is life and death."

For the poor, this means they lose their hard fought footholds on the ladder up from poverty, and a nation struggling to develop may lose vital progress. As the World Bank indicates, epidemic diseases "can rob societies of productive workers, educated professionals, and political leaders, undermining growth and worsening social tensions."

At Planet Aid we support the TCE program. The foundation of TCE is that only the people can liberate themselves from the HIV epidemic. People are mobilized to take a leading role in the quest to fully defend and free themselves from the epidemic in their own lives as individuals, families and communities. The model is systematic, cost-efficient, comprehensive and easily scaled up. By drawing upon local participation, and working in close cooperation with government agencies, health services, and other public and private partners, TCE ensures that each community is prepared and organized for the fight against the major epidemics. For more information please visit our Total Control of the Epidemic page.

-Meredith Crocker, MIT