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Global AIDS Coordinator Addresses Obama’s Global HIV/AIDS Policy Agenda

Speaking at the 5th International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention on Monday, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Eric Goosby outlined President Obama’s global AIDS policy agenda, Plus News/IRIN reports. The news service writes, “Goosby began by reassuring delegates – many of whom are implementers of programmes funded by … PEPFAR … — that fighting AIDS would remain a central component of Obama’s foreign policy. However, there would be a renewed focus on other priorities such as maternal and child health, and tropical diseases.”

Goosby noted, “Each government ultimately holds responsibility for the health of its citizens,” and that U.S. policies would seek to support country programs and encourage more national government buy-in and leadership.  “The end goal is for each country to control its responses both strategically and, eventually, financially,” he said. “Goosby also made it clear that scientific evidence rather than moral concerns would drive intensified efforts to reach high-risk groups – men who have sex with men, injecting drug users and sex workers – with HIV prevention and care,” Plus News/IRIN writes.

“The economic crisis has made countries look at what they can and can’t afford with a new lens,” he said. “We are trying to maximize our ability to ensure that everyone who is on ARVs [antiretrovirals] stays on them, and that we expand access to those who are not yet on them.”

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci “told delegates that a bill to lift the ban on funding needle exchange programmes was working its way through Congress, and restrictions on HIV-infected people entering the U.S. were also almost certain to be lifted in the near future.”  Facui added, “With regard to science and policy, we will stay on the right path” (7/20).

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