February 3, 2011— A publication initiated by the aids2031 consortium, AIDS: Taking a Long-Term View, is launched at the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
The book’s key message is that the fight against AIDS is a generations-long challenge that requires a new emphasis on long-term planning, financial backing, political commitment and leadership. More than 500 voices contributed to the aids2031 process and this book synthesises their collective views and suggestions for the future.
Initiated by UNAIDS in 2007, aids2031 is a consortium of partners who have come together to assess lessons learned about the AIDS response, as well as consider the implications of the changing world around AIDS, in order to chart options for the long-term response.
This initiative brings together multidisciplinary teams, including economists, epidemiologists, biomedical, social and political scientists, to question conventional wisdom, stimulate new research, encourage public debate and uncover new evidence.
aids2031 has convened nine working groups that focused on modelling, social drivers, programmatic response, leadership, financing, science and technology, communications, hyper endemic countries, and countries in rapid economic transition.
The CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation Achmat Dangor co-chaired the Heperendemic Pillar of the aids2031 initiative.
At the launch of the publication, a panel chaired by Achmat Dangor, Dr Peter Piot (director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) and Dr Sheila Tlou (director, UNAIDS Regional Support Team for East and Southern Africa) briefed the media.
The message to the media was that the book, AIDS: Taking a Long-Term View, coveys a number of compelling messages. The over-arching message is that the world needs to come to terms with the fact that AIDS is not over, not by any measure.
Sharply reducing the number of new infections and AIDS deaths by 2031 requires new ways of thinking about AIDS and responding to the challenges that the pandemic poses.
It requires new prevention and treatment tools; sound policies to optimize the effectiveness of programs; innovative approaches to AIDS financing; the creation of strong and durable capacity in countries; transition from a focus on individuals to one that views communities as critical fulcrums for success; and management practices to maximise efficiency and effectiveness.
AIDS: Taking a Long-Term View urges constant consideration of the long-term implications of our choices. It concludes with a set of recommendations, a roadmap that will steer the course of AIDS action in a sustainable, effective and efficient direction for the next two decades.
It concludes that the pandemic is not going away, but its magnitude and severity can be dramatically curtailed, if the global community brings the seriousness of purpose to this problem it deserves.
The book not only provides a thought-provoking read, but its format makes it suitable for use in the classroom and at conferences and roundtables.
The Foundation holds no copies of the book. Copies can be ordered from Financial Times Press (www.ftpress.com).