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2005-11-25-New Approach to Controlling HIV/AIDS Needed, The Lancet
The year-on-year escalation in new HIV infections demands a new and integrated approach in which access to care and treatment is expanded simultaneously with HIV-prevention efforts, states an Editorialin this week's issue of The Lancet.
On World AIDS Day 2003 the World Heath Organization (WHO) and UNAIDS pledged to provide antiretroviral treatment to 3 million HIV-infected individuals by 2005-the “3 by 5” initiative.
The latest data, released last week, show that treatment rollout is continuing steadily. However, 2005 is likely to be remembered more for the 3 million deaths and almost 5 million new infections it heralded than for the 300000 lives saved through treatment, states the editorial.
The Lancet comments: “The data released last week show that focusing on treatment is not enough. AIDS has reached a new peak: there are now more than 40 million individuals living with the disease, double the number 10 years ago . . . The year-on-year escalation in new HIV infections demands a new and integrated approach in which access to care and treatment is expanded simultaneously with HIV-prevention efforts...It is inescapable that 3 by 5 will be remembered for its failure. But it should also be lauded for its extraordinary political successes-not least for spurring world leaders to agree to the G8 goal of universal access to treatment by 2010. The test for UNAIDS and WHO now will be whether they can create the necessary commitment to see the past 2 years' grand promises turned into action.”