The beginning of the end of AIDS? ONE releases 2013 AIDS report

Creators of the popular (RED) brand and cofounded by U2's Bono, the international advocacy organization ONE has just released their 2013 report on worldwide AIDS prevention titled "The Beginning of the End?  Tracking Global Commitments on AIDS."  Working primarily with countries and communities in sub-Saharan Africa, ONE is an internationally renowned campaigning and advocacy organization boasting over 3 million Global Members.  Fighting AIDS is a major focus of ONE, along with fighting TB and malaria, alleviating poverty, and promoting anti-corruption measures.

A follow-up to ONE's 2012 accountability reports on AIDS, the 2013 report reiterates its vision of "the beginning of the end of AIDS."  For ONE, this "beginning" is the point at which "the total number of people newly infected with HIV in a given year is equal to, and eventually lower than, the number of HIV-positive people newly receiving antiretroviral (ARV) treatment in the same year."  In other words, the organization is measuring progress in AIDS prevention using a simple ratio that asks: are more people getting HIV than they are getting treatment for HIV in a given year?  When the answer is no, we've hit a milestone in the fight against AIDS.

According to ONE's prior report, this milestone wouldn't be achievable until 2022, but recent acceleration in AIDS prevention has shown that "the beginning of the end" could feasibly happen by 2015.  The first part of the new report reviews the changes-- some progressive, some insufficient-- over the past year in international AIDS prevention, and it does this using 3 key indicators:

  • mother-to-child transmission of HIV
  • access to tretment for HIV-positive individuals
  • reduction of new adult and adolescent HIV infections

The second part of the report examines the financial and political efforts of various nations in the fight to end AIDS.  According to ONE, "donor resources for HIV/AIDS programmes remained flat [last year] and a number of donors reduced their spending."  While the report is unequivocably optimistic about the possibility of reaching its 2015 goal, it also notes the many areas where current efforts have been insufficient.

Among the report's more poignant findings is its analysis of sub-Saharan Africa, where "there is wide divergence in levels of political will, financial investment and progress across the continent," in addition to the vast cultural heterogeneity across Africa.  While some nations face severe disparities between infection rates and people receiving treatment, some nations have taken significant control over the spread of HIV/AIDS.   In fact, 16 countries in the region have already achieved the ratio that ONE is striving for worldwide, and another 5 are "incredibly close" through the combination of financial and political support by national governments and on-the-ground individuals working within their communities to prevent AIDS.

In conclusion, ONE offers 5 recommendations to advance international AIDS prevention and achieve its 2015 goal:

  1. Build the foundations for a "prevention revolution", particularly among adolescents and marginalised populations.
  2. Commit new and better-targeted resources to drive progress towards the end of AIDS.
  3. Ensure greater political and programmatic ownership of the fight against AIDS by African governments.
  4. Improve reporting and transparency of AIDS resources and results.
  5. Reinvigorate HIV/AIDS on the international political agenda.

To read the full report, click here.  You can also check out ONE's infographic of the report below.