Cuts to HIV funding are slowing down prevention efforts

A new Lancet Commission led by the International AIDS Society raised concerns that a decline in funding has slowed down global efforts to prevent the spread of HIV and warned that the epidemic could flare up once again as a result.

“It’s important to dispel the assumption that the end of HIV is near. We’re not there yet,” said George Seage, a professor of epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, in a July 19, 2018 NPR article. Seage, who was not involved with the Lancet Commission, added, “The prevention initiatives have lacked funding and enthusiasm. Like any infectious disease, it doesn’t take much to have it spike again, and [we would] lose all that we’ve gained.”

Additionally, Keletso Makofane, a PhD student in the Chan School’s Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, co-authored a letter for the Lancet Commission about persistent inequities in the global response to HIV and the opportunity to tackle inequality in a new way. “Histories of activism show that it is possible to disrupt unfair arrangements, yet we are unable, or perhaps unwilling, to be explicit about the systems and people who produce, maintain, and benefit from circumstances labelled as social determinants,” the authors wrote.

Read the NPR article: Report Warns Of ‘Dangerous Complacency’ In The Fight Against HIV

Read the Lancet Commission Letter: Tackling global health inequities in the HIV response