This World AIDS Day finds us at a pivotal moment, appreciating the progress that has led to 18 million people worldwide receiving treatment that prevents illness and transmission of HIV and accepting the challenge of extending that essential intervention to the 15 million living with HIV still in need of medicine. It also finds us at a time of transition to a new Administration in Washington, where we have seen remarkable progress against the global pandemic led by the U.S. Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and made important strides against the domestic epidemic guided by the National AIDS Strategy. As infectious disease physicians and researchers who confront the impacts of HIV daily, this World AIDS Day we can attest to the need for continuity in the leadership and direction that across the last two administrations has led to the current momentum and that will be needed to end AIDS as a global and national public health threat.
Every World AIDS Day provides a time to remember and renew the commitments that brought us to this point of enormous opportunity and challenge, at home and abroad. Those commitments have included investments in scientific research, resulting in lifesaving treatments and prevention technologies and to knowledge towards discovering a vaccine and a cure. They include the strides in strengthening health care systems in countries around the world that have advanced global health security, and health reforms at home that have made primary and preventive care available to millions of people for the first time. They include the recognition that human rights are inextricably linked to health, and that proven interventions must be available to all people who need them. And they include the acknowledgement that much remains to be done, when tuberculosis, a curable disease, continues to be the leading killer of people living with HIV worldwide, and 50,000 new HIV infections occur in this country each year.
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