Treatment 2.0 at AIDS 2010

Treatment 2.0 at AIDS 2010

During the opening ceremony of the International AIDS Conference, International AIDS Society President Julio Montaner declared “Consensus has arrived. Treatment and prevention are one thing and they are the way forward.” He went on to assert that Treatment 2.0 “is the most effective way forward to deliver on the universal access pledge.”

Later in the ceremony UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe proclaimed “Treatment 2.0 radically simplifies treatment to maximize the number of people who can benefit.”

Treatment 2.0 is a new treatment approach that could dramatically reduce the number of AIDS deaths as well as greatly bolster prevention efforts by reducing incidence. Statistical models estimate that this approach could avert an additional 10 million deaths by 2025. Today, according to UNAIDS, only an estimated 5 million people who need HIV & AIDS treatment are actually receiving it; another 10 million do not have access to life-saving medicines.

Treatment 2.0 has five components:

  1. Create a better pill and diagnostics
  2. Treatment as prevention
  3. Stop cost being an obstacle
  4. Improve uptake of HIV testing and linkage to care
  5. Strengthen community mobilization

Recent studies provide evidence to suggest that we could achieve a one-third reduction of new HIV infections globally by radically changing the way we provide ARVs.  The global health community needs to follow through on commitments made by world leaders to ensure that all persons in need of life-saving treatment actually receive it.

MSH is strongly committed to improving access to and correct use of ARVs in the developing world. In our work with John Snow Inc. (JSI) in the Partnership for Supply Chain Management we are the largest global supplier of ARVs and top recipient of PEPFAR funds. The Supply Chain Management System (SCMS) brings together 13 private sector, nongovernmental, and faith-based organizations with offices in 20 countries including the United States and more than 450 dedicated staff members around the world. SCMS procures essential medicines and supplies at affordable prices; helps strengthen and build reliable, secure and sustainable supply chain systems; and fosters coordination of key stakeholders.

MSH’s mission is saving lives and improving the health of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people by closing the gap between knowledge and action in public health. Our work in the SCMS project is evidence of our commitment to our mission.

It seems appropriate to close with another remark by Michel Sidibe. “Treatment 2.0 radically simplifies treatment to maximize the number of people who can benefit. This will save more money. But in the end, we will only be measured by the number of lives we save.”

Sara Holtz is MSH's HIV & AIDS Initiative Manager.

Photo Credit: UNAIDS.org

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