By: Serra Sippel, President of the Center for Health and Gender Equity in Washington, D.C.; originally posted on the Huffington Post
We can end HIV/AIDS right now if we want to. We already know how. We know how it is transmitted; we know how to prevent and treat it. We are just not doing what it takes to end it.
The United States and other countries represented at the United Nations High Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS, which starts today, can change that. Unfortunately, there are already signs that we are going to stay the same failed course. Some country delegations, led by the Holy See (note: a non-member state with no epidemic that is neither a donor or aid recipient country), are working to block all references in the final outcome document to womens rights and access to sexual and reproductive health services. Despite the fact that sexual transmission is the number one way HIV is spread, despite the fact that women account for half of all people globally living with HIV, some countries would rather pursue a moralistic agenda around sex and women than put an end to AIDS.