With everything wrong in the world, it can be hard to remember what's going right. But there's evidence everywhere that progress is possible when we work together. As part of our #GiftsThatGive series, we wanted to share messages of optimism and progress from our Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) staff who are working to address HIV/AIDS around the world. We hope you’ll join us in giving the gift of optimism by sharing these stories of hope, and be a voice – and a force – for good.
"When CHAI began working in Cambodia in 2005, there were 6,000 patients (including 400 children) in the country receiving the HIV/AIDS care they needed. Since then, Cambodia has become one of the first countries to achieve universal access for antiretroviral treatment (ART) for adults and children. Coverage is now more than 85 percent for adults at 44,871 on treatment, and more than 90 percent for children, at 4,530 on treatment. From a high of 2 percent in the late 1990s, HIV prevalence has dropped to 0.7 percent. Cambodia has now set the goal of elimination of new HIV infections by 2020. These goals are ambitious, but CHAI believes they are also achievable. We are proud to have been a partner in Cambodia's success and we remain committed to supporting Cambodia in sustaining the incredible gains that have been made while moving towards elimination of HIV/AIDS. Cambodia offers a great model for strong country ownership of an HIV response. Strong leadership combined with sound allocation of resources and program management has enabled Cambodia to reverse their epidemic."
"Just a few years ago, when AIDS was a virtual death sentence in Cameroon, few would have believed that today 122,000 people are alive because of the lifesaving treatments which CHAI has been privileged to help the government of Cameroon provide to its people."
"In this third decade of the epidemic, we share the hopes and aspirations of the world for a new day: a day without stigma for those infected or affected, a day with no new infections, a day when there's a cure. In Indonesia, we see progress on many fronts: increasing access to quality services in rural and remote settings, getting more people into care and more people onto treatment. While there's still much work to accomplish, we recognize and applaud efforts by the Ministry of Health to integrate HIV-related services within primary healthcare settings."
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"We want to recognize those who work tirelessly in the field to address the HIV/AIDS crisis and renew our commitment to helping the government to achieve an AIDS-free generation."
"The government of Liberia will strive to ensure the availability of treatment and increased access to diagnostics, with a goal of enabling all eligible infants to access HIV testing by 2017 and increasing treatment coverage from 41 percent to 65 percent by 2021. Since 2004, our team has supported the government of Liberia in increasing coverage for prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) from 0 to 48 percent. With the recent adoption of Option B+ (which provides HIV-infected women with life-long antiretroviral treatment, regardless of their CD4 count), we believe that elimination of mother-to-child transmission is possible and that, by 2020, all babies born to HIV-positive women will be HIV-free."
"CHAI facilitated Malawi’s adoption of and access to Option B+ and, consequently, approximately 70,000 HIV-positive pregnant and lactating women have been initiated on treatment since July 2008. CHAI has also helped Malawi switch treatment regimens to adopt better drugs in HIV and improved outcomes for approximately 273,000 patients who are now receiving antiretroviral treatment."
"In 2002, CHAI began its work in pediatric HIV/AIDS. In 2014, CHAI, in collaboration with its partners and the government of Mozambique, will start on groundbreaking work to test and initiate infants who are born with HIV, with the objective of removing the virus from their bloodstream and curing these children ( i.e. replicating the Mississippi baby case). If successful, we will see a future generation of children that may not need to be on treatment, but rather only monitored which will transform the whole pediatric HIV/AIDS area."
"In Rwanda, the government is working to ensure that those most at-risk will be able to access life saving treatment, prevention and care services. These communities so often are forgotten and marginalized in societies. Rwanda has always led the way in the AIDS response, and now they are leading again."
"Zambia, with support from CHAI and other partners, has been able to make great progress in reducing HIV/AIDS transmissions from mothers to children and put half a million adults and 40,000 children on life-saving treatment. These people are able to lead happy and productive lives as a result. Zambia is ready to make the next steps to an HIV/AIDS-free generation, and with your support, they can."