At last week’s Gleneagles Summit, G8 leaders set an ambitious goal of having an AIDS-free generation in Africa. They said they would work with various international agencies with the aim of providing, as close as possible, universal access to treatment by 2010 for all who need it.
Among those praising the G8 pledge is Mark Isaac, vice-president of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation in Washington. The organization operates many AIDS treatment programs for children in Africa. Mr. Isaac told English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua he was pleased with the G8 pledge regarding HIV/AIDS.
“Absolutely,” he says, “we’ve come a long way. It was only several years ago that most people thought that providing treatment in Africa was completely impossible and now we have a full-fledged commitment to almost universal treatment for all by the year 2010. And that’s a dramatic advance certainly.”
But is the goal simply a “pie in the sky” wish or is it possible? Mr. Isaac says, “Well, it certain is ambitious and I think whether or not we are able to reach that goal will be determined in large part by whether we follow-up from that with very detailed planning and a timeline for reaching interim goals. We do believe that it’s possible if there’s a full commitment of resources and if there’s the appropriate level of planning. And if we do try to achieve interim goals along the way. It’s something that is ultimately doable if we all are fully committed to this task.”