News / Africa

    Looking Ahead to AIDS-Free Generation

    Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
    Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

    Multimedia

    Audio
    Joe DeCapua
    2012 was a year when political leaders and top health officials freely spoke of attaining an AIDS-free generation. In November, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton unveiled a blueprint for achieving that goal.


    Secretary Clinton said not long ago it would have been impossible to speak of an AIDS-free generation.

    “Now by an AIDS-free generation, I mean one where, first, virtually no children are born with the virus. Second, as these children become teenagers and adults they are at far lower risk of becoming infected than they would be today, thanks to a wide range of prevention tools. And third, if they do acquire HIV, they have access to treatment that helps prevent them from developing AIDS and passing the virus on to others,” she said.

    Mrs. Clinton made the comment in a speech at the National Institutes of Health. She said that HIV may be with us well into the future, but the disease that it causes need not be.”

    “Now, while the finish line is not yet in sight we know we can get there because now we know the route we need to take. It requires all of us to put a variety of scientifically proven prevention tools to work in concert with each other,” she said.

    Those tools include effective treatment, male circumcision, eliminating stigma and discrimination and preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV. It’s a combination approach to stopping the spread of HIV.

    Mitchell Warren, head of the AIDS advocacy group AVAC, applauds the U.S. blueprint for an AIDS-free generation.

    “That was by far the culmination of a great year. That blueprint, which she put out, really recommits the U.S. government to a bold agenda to both provide both direct support for treatment and for prevention around the world. It also throws down the challenge to countries all over the world to really step it up and join the U.S. government in this commitment,” he said.

    But Warren said bold speeches must be followed by bold actions.

    “2012 will certainly be remembered as the year when the conversation changed. The big question is will we see movement beyond just the conversation,” he said.

    Warren said besides outlining the immediate needs in fighting the epidemic, Mrs. Clinton’s address also highlighted the importance of scientific research.

    “The same research that got us to this point is just as important going forward, particularly around the search for a microbicide and the search for a vaccine and eventually a cure,” he said.

    In the last few years there’s been promising research in both vaccines and microbicides. However, follow-up studies are not expected to provide any findings until 2014 or later.

    “So it’s a longer term trajectory, a longer horizon, but the science is as exciting as it’s ever been in AIDS vaccines. And certainly we need to keep pushing for that longer term solution even as we deliver on the tools that we have today,” said warren.

    Dr. Anthony Fauci is one of the top U.S. scientists working on HIV/AIDS. He’s head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.  At July’s International AIDS Conference in Washington, he said learning how HIV replicates revealed some of its weaknesses.

    “It’s that kind of basic science which brings us to the next step. And that is the step of interventions, predominantly in the arena of treatment and prevention,” he said.

    Dr. Fauci called for a “care continuum…That is seeking out, testing, linking to care, treating when eligible and making sure they adhere.”

    AVAC’s Mitchell Warren said the international AIDS conference held much promise. But 2013 will determine whether it’s a promise fulfilled.

    “If in mid-2013 or World AIDS Day 2013, we look back and say, wow, that conference told us it was possible and we blew it -- we blew the opportunity of changing the way we did our work -- then it will have been an enormous failure. 2013 needs to be the year that we really transition from rhetoric to reality. . 2013 needs to be the year that we really transition from rhetoric to reality,” he said.

    As the New Year begins, an unwelcome realty will be continued tight international spending, as many advocates hope to gear up research, treatment and prevention.

    You May Like

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.