By Julia E. Robinson, director of advocacy programs for Health Alliance International at the University of Washington.
It’s an exciting time to be fighting for the “End of AIDS.”
Everyone from Hillary Clinton to Pope Francis is talking about the possibility of turning a corner on the pandemic. Advances in treatment and vaccine research hint there could be an AIDS-free generation in the near future. International donors are ponying up huge amounts of money for developing these new technologies.
Just last week, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced a $1 billion initiative called the Global Development Lab to keep churning out high tech solutions to some of the toughest public health problems facing the planet, including HIV.
Meanwhile, many poor countries and communities lack enough nurses, doctors and health workers to even carry out the most basic health services.
Global health experts talk about a ‘delivery bottleneck’ for new vaccines – a euphemistic way of describing the fact that Western innovations are piling up because the global south simply lacks the health care workforce and systems to deliver these new health technologies.