New report provides first-time analysis of success across six locations

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO – For the first time, AIDS experts have brought together new assessments from six locations around the world that have made impressive progress fighting the epidemic, identifying the common contributors to success and providing a roadmap to ending the epidemic globally.

In a new report released today at IAS 2019 and on EndAIDS.org, amfAR, AVAC and Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria demonstrate how dramatic reductions in HIV incidence and mortality have been accomplished in six very different settings around the world: Thailand; Malawi; Rakai, Uganda; New South Wales, Australia; London, England; and San Francisco, United States.

The report provides a graph for each location, illustrating declining HIV rates and deaths, as well as policy decisions that drove advances against the epidemic. The report also maps out the future, showing how the required policy, structural and research advances can propel dramatic progress.

“This report highlights the reality that progress toward ending HIV shouldn’t be limited by geography or demographics,” Greg Millett, Vice President and Director of Public Policy at amfAR, said. “It also highlights how much easier we can achieve our goal by continuing to invest in scientific research, as well as policies that promote human rights.”

Common contributors to lowering HIV incidence and mortality across the six locations include:

  • Campaigns to encourage HIV testing, particularly among groups that are most affected
  • Free and easy access to treatment at the time of diagnosis with HIV
  • Scale up of evidence-based HIV prevention, such as voluntary medical male circumcision, pre-exposure prophylaxis and harm reduction
  • Concerted efforts to provide human rights-based services and social supports alongside programmes to fight stigma and discrimination.

“There is nothing easy about achieving epidemic control, but in Malawi, a country with few resources, we have found that innovation and early adoption of new guidelines is key to rapid scale up of treatment and prevention,” said Maureen Luba, Africa Regional Advocacy Advisor for AVAC. “With 91% of people who are aware of their status on HIV treatment, Malawi is beginning to show progress on the way to ending the epidemic. But we can’t declare success too soon; we can’t step back now in Malawi or anywhere else.”

Chris Collins, President of Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, said, “This report provides a new narrative. Ending the epidemic isn’t an insurmountable challenge but a question of putting the evidence to work and scaling access, particularly for those most at risk. It won’t be easy anywhere, but it is possible everywhere.”

The six locations profiled in the report were selected based on their progress in response to the epidemic and the availability of data and information about local policy interventions. The report authors also aimed to assess a mix of types of epidemics – some among key populations and others impacting broader populations.

“To eliminate HIV worldwide, we need not just great prevention tools, but also strategic and impactful investments and policies,” Adeeba Kamarulzaman, International AIDS Society President-Elect, said. “The report provides important new analysis of what has worked and what can be scaled to build on this success.”

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About amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research: amfAR is one of the world’s leading non-profit organizations dedicated to the support of AIDS research, HIV prevention, treatment education and advocacy. Since 1985, amfAR has invested nearly US$550 million in its programmes and has awarded more than 3,300 grants to research teams worldwide. For more information, visit www.amfar.org

About AVAC: Founded in 1995, AVAC is a non-profit organization that uses education, policy analysis, advocacy and a network of global collaborations to accelerate the ethical development and global delivery of AIDS vaccines, male circumcision, microbicides, PrEP and other emerging HIV prevention options as part of a comprehensive response to the pandemic. For more information, visit www.avac.org

About Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria advocates for US support of the Global Fund and the goal to end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. For more information about Friends of the Global Fight, visit www.theglobalfight.org.

The International AIDS Society (IAS) leads collective action on every front of the global HIV response through its membership base, scientific authority and convening power. Founded in 1988, the IAS is the world’s largest association of HIV professionals, with members in more than 170 countries. Working with its members, the IAS advocates and drives urgent action to reduce the impact of HIV. The IAS is also the steward of the world’s most prestigious HIV conferences: the International AIDS Conference, the IAS Conference on HIV Science, and the HIV Research for Prevention Conference. For more information, visit www.iasociety.org.

The IAS Conference on HIV Science is the world’s most influential meeting on HIV research and its applications. This biennial conference presents the most critical advances in basic, clinical and operational research that moves science into policy and practice. Through its open and inclusive programme development, the meeting sets the gold standard of HIV research featuring highly diverse and cutting-edge studies. The 10th IAS Conference on HIV Science – known as IAS 2019 – is taking place in Mexico City, Mexico, on 21-24 July 2019. For more information, visit www.ias2019.org.