Confronting the Tough Challenges in HIV Prevention
January 22, 2010
The United States Global AIDS Administrator, Ambassador Eric Goosby, came to CSIS on Tuesday January 19 to discuss the expanded role of prevention in the President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), as part of the joint CSIS and University of Miami Knight Center for International Media Global Challenge Series.
Stephen Morrison, director of the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, introduced Dr. Goosby, who was joined after his remarks by CSIS Senior Associate Dr. Phillip Nieburg and University of Miami Family Medicine and Community Health Professor Dr. Sonjia Kenya for a panel discussion.
Dr. Goosy emphasized PEPFAR’s interest in high-impact, evidence-based approaches that link treatment and care to prevention. He made clear that different strategies to prevent HIV transmission, from condoms to suppressive therapy, are mutually reinforcing, as they combine to drive down the prevalence of the virus. Evaluation and implementation research will allow PEPFAR to monitor those improved programs and help guarantee cost effectiveness, even in the face of multiple epidemics and stigma and discrimination.
A lively question and answer session followed, with American Abroad Media anchor Miriam Atash Nawabi moderating. Among other topics, Dr. Nieburg explored issues of conditional aid and the difficulties of allocating limited resources to those countries who will use it more effectively. Dr. Kenya spoke passionately to the limited effectiveness of abstinence-only strategies and the importance of engaging youth.
“PEPFAR has been about saving lives,” Dr. Goosby said in conclusion, “and that is what it will continue to be about. We are going to increase our ability to be efficient at continuing that effort to save lives but also as efficient and as aggressive in our efforts to try to prevent new infection.”