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U.S. Must Continue To Lead In HIV/AIDS Investments But Everyone Needs To Increase Efforts

The “Blueprint for an AIDS-free Generation,” (.pdf) released on Thursday by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, “shows that upfront investments to support the rapid scale-up of lifesaving AIDS treatment will yield significant savings — of both lives and dollars — in the near future,” Archbishop Desmond Tutu, archbishop emeritus of Cape Town, South Africa, writes in the Huffington Post’s “Impact” blog. “For the Blueprint to be a success, the funding to implement it must be secured,” Tutu writes, adding, “Advocates will need to lobby President Obama to ensure that specific targets are attached to the Blueprint, that progress is tracked and that adequate resources are allocated quickly to fund accelerated, up-front investments.” He continues, “That’s no small order in the current global economic environment and in light of the political gridlock in Washington over plans to correct the U.S. federal deficit.”

“Given that America’s leadership in the fight sets the stage for global investment in funding for HIV/AIDS, the United States must continue to lead the charge,” Tutu writes, adding, “Now is the moment for President Obama and the new Congress to step up and match the intent of the Blueprint with the resources necessary to overcome AIDS.” However, “the end of AIDS cannot be underwritten solely by the United States” because it “also requires the leadership of other nations and the support of large multilateral health funds, such as the World Bank and the Global Fund [to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria] — two organizations with recent reforms and fresh leadership that are well poised to efficiently deliver AIDS-ending resources,” he says. “The fact that ours could be the generation that launches an endgame for AIDS has heightened the moral imperative,” Tutu writes, concluding, “If enough global citizens, people of faith, members of the private sector, and world leaders summon the courage to accelerate and increase their investments in the global AIDS fight, we have a very good chance of containing the worst viral scourge the world has ever known” (11/29).