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The number of HIV-related deaths each year is falling globally, treatment is becoming more effective and cheaper, yet the rate of new infections is still too high to reach the UN’s goal of less than 500,000 new infections per year by 2020. CGD’s work on the economics of HIV introduced the concept of the AIDS transition—the point in time when the number of people living with the disease begins to fall. Our work also models the effects and implications of policies to reduce new infections and expand treatment.
We here at CGD tend to be critical of international agencies like WHO or the UNDP for establishing targets or guidelines without sufficient consideration of the impacts, for good and ill, of those guidelines in the affected countries. Such guidelines often apply standards more appropriate to rich countries and then pressure poor countries to behave as if they were rich.
Although the Trump administration has pivoted away from global leadership in many foreign policy arenas, Secretary Tillerson’s September 19 announcement of administration support for PEPFAR’s newly released 2017 strategy is reassuring. In addition to affirming the administration’s commitment to continue PEPFAR support in all 50 previously designated PEPFAR countries, the secretary announced the intention to “accelerate progress toward controlling the pandemic in a subset of 13 countries, which represent the most vulnerable communities to HIV/AIDS and have the potential to achieve control by 2020.”