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Universal Access To HIV Therapy Essential To Reach End Of AIDS

“Antiretroviral therapy saves lives, improves quality of life, and lifts communities and economies, enabling people to once again work, go to school, care for their families, and participate in society. Every day, treatment access and other investments are helping us get closer to an end of the AIDS epidemic,” UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé writes in the Huffington Post’s “Impact” blog. Though treatment “successes are inspiring … the concluding chapters of this story have yet to be written. It’s time to raise the bar,” he states. Sidibé notes the new WHO HIV treatment guidelines, which call for earlier, simpler therapy. The guidelines “are welcome news for people living with HIV, but implementing them presents challenges,” he notes, adding, “I am optimistic that national leaders, international donors, civil society and partners will seize this opportunity and work with us to expand access to treatment,” as well as expand prevention efforts such as male circumcision and work to eliminate stigma and discrimination. Sidibé concludes, “The path to zero — zero new infections, zero discrimination, and zero AIDS-related deaths — is clearer today than ever before. Universal access to antiretroviral therapy can help pave the way” (7/8).