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Collaboration, Focus On Key Affected Populations Necessary For Development Of Post-2015 Agenda

“Before we even know it, those of us working in the field of global health are … going to be caught up in the debate around the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) whose target end-date is 2015,” Bertrand Audoin, executive director of the International AIDS Society, writes in the Huffington Post U.K.’s “Impact” blog, noting “this week’s discussions on the road towards the MDGs at the U.N. in New York.” He continues, “But while in New York, I’ll be just as interested in the conversations around the post-2015 scenario and more precisely where HIV/AIDS will fit in the broader scheme of things in the second half of this decade and beyond.” He states, “To date there hasn’t been … enough obvious and collaborative discussion — certainly not openly nor publicly — on just how we’ll approach HIV/AIDS post 2015.”

“There needs to be more emphasis on the capacity of health systems in local settings to be better able to deliver integrated services that reflect client need rather than donors’ needs,” Audoin continues, noting “the impact of donors on programs’ design, priorities and outcomes is still often bigger than that of client needs — as we all know, this too often leads to failure of programs, and donors rarely take the blame.” He states, “Evidence-based collaborations between HIV scientists and researchers and those working across disciplines should be further encouraged,” adding, “We need to ask ourselves why there is an unstated reluctance amongst some to prioritize a conversation on why sex workers, men who have sex with men (MSM), people who inject drugs (PWID) and transgender people in certain parts of the world are inhumanely being excluded from accessing treatment, care and prevention services.” He adds, “If we are to move forward post-2015, there simply has to be some measured reflection on how collaborations between professionals beyond the HIV field can become a reality and on why some populations are too often being left behind in the response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic” (9/23).