About the Author: Thomas J. Walsh serves with the Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator.
Today, the International AIDS Conference in Vienna heard from former President Clinton and from Bill Gates, founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. President Clinton offered a hopeful assessment of the global response to AIDS, reviewing striking progress in recent years and offering thoughts on how to move the effort forward, with a particular focus on making the most of available resources to save as many lives as possible. He singled out PEPFAR for special recognition, which was greeted warmly by the assembled delegates. Bill Gates took on the most difficult challenge in AIDS-effective prevention. He too struck an upbeat note, highlighting the potential for innovation in prevention. He also described already-proven approaches that can have a big impact if expanded quickly, as PEPFAR is doing in such areas as prevention-of-mother-to-child transmission and male circumcision. Taken together, the two offered a forward-looking keynote that resonated with the conference.
Related Entry: PEPFAR Participation in the International AIDS Conference