While many of the leading international agencies focusing on the global AIDS epidemic have expressed significant optimism about the possibility of ending the epidemic in the near future, the Director and President of ABIA again questions the argument that we are nearing the end of the AIDS. Parker published the article “From a global crisis to the End of AIDS: new epidemics of signification” in Global Public Health, a respected academic journal published in the United Kingdom specializing in global health.
In the text, co-authored with Nora Kenworthy and Matthew Thomann, Parker argues that the discourse about the ‘end of AIDS’ has served the interests and agendas of donors and international corporations, especially from the pharmaceutical industry. For the authors, this discourse has generated policies motivated by post-recession financial pressures that have led to shifting health and development priorities. The article questions triumphalist arguments based on recent biomedical advances in prevention and treatment of HIV.
A report recently launched by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) indicated that just more than 50% of the people who need antiretroviral treatment in countries around the world in fact have access to it. Authorities and civil society organizations should rightly celebrate advances in treatment access, but the article emphasizes the need for a more cautious assessment of the supposed end of the epidemic. It calls attention to the need to prioritize the millions of people in the world who still have no access to treatment.
“The article is highly relevant to recent policy debates about financing global health, as highlighted by the polemical cuts recently announced by Trump. Rather than serving as a call to action, the ‘end of AIDS’ is becoming a justification for donors to reduce support for many of the most important interventions. Not by chance, many of these are the most important and necessary area if we are to hope to realize real and long-term success in response to the epidemic” they argue.
Spanish version here
The complete text in English can be accessed at: https://doi.org/10.1080/17441692.2017.1365373