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For global health workers focused on treating and preventing HIV/AIDS, the future is brighter than ever before.

PEPFAR — the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, begun in 2004 by George W. Bush — has made huge progress scaling up efforts and resources. One review found that in less than five years, PEPFAR averted 1.1 million deaths in Africa and reduced the death rate from AIDS to 10 percent in countries where it was operating.

It is now possible to talk of a day when the number of new infections will be lower than the number of people dying from AIDS — a day when the disease starts shrinking. (This is what CGD senior fellow Mead Over refers to as the AIDS transition.)

Ambassador Deborah Birx, US Global AIDS Coordinator, joins me on this week's podcast to discuss that prospect.

"To watch the field go from certain death to unqualified life ... it's what we dreamed of 30 years ago and never thought was going to be possible," she says.

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CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD does not take institutional positions.