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Response to HIV/AIDS epidemic at risk of “dangerous complacency” as urgent change in approach is needed

The HIV pandemic is not on track to end by 2030 and current approaches to HIV control are not effective, according to a new Lancet Commission.
HIV status sign.

Led by the International AIDS Society, the report combines the expertise of more than 40 international experts, including Professor Peter Piot, Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).

Changes to the HIV response are needed to win the global fight against HIV, and the authors propose that researchers and health care professionals need to work more closely with their counterparts in global health, HIV services need to be included into wider health services, and global health policies need to incorporate HIV.

The authors make recommendations for how HIV and global health can work together to advance global health and improve the HIV response. The report also models the impact of combining HIV within other health services in five countries, and is being presented at the AIDS 2018 conference in Amsterdam.

Professor Peter Piot said: “The International AIDS Society-Lancet Commission is the first of its kind to assess the future of the HIV response in the era of a more integrated health approach in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals.

“One of the most important findings of the Commission is that we are not on track to end the HIV pandemic and that the prevailing discourse on the ‘End of AIDS’ has bred a dangerous complacency that may have accelerated the weakening of global resolve to fight HIV. Great strides have been made, but achievements are not successes. HIV will remain a long-term challenge and declaring victory before our fight is over could have devastating consequences.

“The future of our response is in both strengthening specific HIV responses, in particular HIV prevention, and integrating HIV services where we can with other health services and the global health field more broadly. The Report demonstrates that a more integrated HIV response can be both cost-effective and offer ‘win-win’ results for both HIV and non-HIV health outcomes.

“We need to work together to reboot the HIV response, ensuring that we are putting people at the centre of our efforts. I hope that the upcoming International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam is a catalyst for rejuvenated efforts, renewed investment, greater collaboration, and a reinvigorated human rights approach that is so badly needed.”

LSHTM conducts world-leading HIV/AIDS research and will have a significant presence throughout the 2018 International AIDS Conference, including:

To find out more about LSHTM’s presence at the event, visit the International AIDS Conference website

Publication

Linda Gail-Bekker et al. Advancing global health and strengthening the HIV response in the era of the Sustainable Development Goals: the International AIDS Society—Lancet Commission. The Lancet. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(18)31070-5