Original Text Prof Peter Piot, Prof Michel Kazatchkine, Mark Dybul, Julian Lob-Levyt Lancet online March 20, 2009
At a time where we enter the Fourth decade of fight against AIDS, the authors review the evidence on where we stand, what we got right and what we got wrong over the past years. They highlight 8 myths on the fight against AIDS and draw the lines of future priorities and challenges. They plead for sustained and increased efforts -including financial- to fight against AIDS.
Stigma and discrimination remain important barriers in the fight against the disease. Although the epidemic did not spread as fast as some feared, we observe continued progression of the infection in before ignored or protected groups: MSM in Asia, Spouse in Vietnam, generalized epidemic in Papua new Guinea, MSM in Germany,… They cite 8 myths and develop arguments against them. Those myths are: 1) HIV prevention is not working, 2) one single interventions will prevent transmission, 3) heterosexual transmission is uncommon outside Africa, 4) African epidemics is exclusively heterosexual, 5) too much money is spent on AIDS, 6) investments on AIDS are being made at the expense of health systems, 7) strengthening health systems will solve the world’s health problems, including AIDS, 8) AIDS has somehow been solved. None of those statements are correct and authors emphasize that AIDS will last for long. It’s fight is complex but we know what we can already do and where we should put more attention to in the future.