Join Our End in Sight Campaign
Presented by AMSA's AIDS Advocacy Network (AAN)
AIDS treatment save lives and now we know treatment
reduces the risk of transmission by 96%. Obama, will you
commit to ending the epidemic? Congress, will you
commit to ending the epidemic?
Ending the AIDS epidemic might sound a little preposterous, but the timing and political context give this campaign it's legs. (give this campaign a special impetus? give this campaign particular leverage?). Last summer the HPTN 052 study (published in the New England Journal of Medicine in July) showed that antiretrovirals reduce transmission of HIV by 96%. Yet, today in the US, there are more than half a million people who know they are HIV+ and can't access consistent care. Additionally, 10,000 of these HIV+ people are on official AIDS Drug Assistance Plan waiting lists. Things are even worse globally, with 30 million people currently living with HIV and over 9 million people with HIV who have no access to treatment.
Experts at UNAIDS report that investing now in treatment to cover an additional 6 million patients will avert more than 12 million new HIV infections by 2020 and lead to cost savings within only 4 years. We have always known AIDS treatment can save lives but now we have the evidence that investing in treatment not only saves lives, but also prevents infections, and decreases costs in the long term... but only if we invest in treatment now.
As it happens, this exciting scientific evidence is occurring during a period of funding shortfalls and increasing wait lists for medications. To date, President Obama has failed to fulfill his campaign promises to invest in AIDS. However, his bid for reelection in 2012 presents him an opportunity to make right on his commitment. Not only is 2012 an election year, but it is also the first time that Washington DC will be hosting the International AIDS Conference (IAC) in July, bringing tens of thousands of HIV advocates, policy-makers, and researchers to one place. Thus, even in the current financial climate, we truly have an opportune moment for substantive policy change.
What can YOU do?
This week, Hilary Clinton is expected to speak in DC about our country's national AIDS strategy. We expect her commitments to be underwhelming, thus this is a perfect opportunity to submit letters to the editor and opinion pieces encouraging Obama to step up his commitment. When Obama speaks on HIV/AIDS on World AIDS Day, December 1, he needs to hear that the public demands better. This is no longer about funding health - this is about ending an epidemic.
AMSA's AIDS Advocacy Network, Global Health Action Committee, and PharmFree Campaign have put together a call to action - providing you with the resources (fact sheet, poster, and letter to the editor template) to mobilize friends & fellow students. Our goal - mobilize TWICE, first by hosting World AIDS Day events and submitting letters to the editor before and on World AIDS Day (Dec. 1). Second, by attending the International AIDS Conference in Washington DC in July.
Get in touch with us! We would love to help with planning and organizing at your school! World AIDS Day activities and letters to the editor can garner the media attention to call on Obama, as well as Republican candidates, to step up their commitment to ending AIDS. Following World AIDS Day we'll have additional projects leading up to the International AIDS Conference in DC in July.
You can find more info by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org and at our ally Health GAP's site, http://www.treataidsendaids.org, which has a great one-minute video and a petition that your chapter members should be encouraged to sign.
If Obama had a way to end AIDS, would he? from Treat AIDS-End AIDS on Vimeo.