Addressing the world's largest AIDS conference, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday reinforced her call for an "AIDS-free generation" -- a phrase that's becoming a battle cry.
She described it as a time when there would be no child born with HIV, young adults would have a significantly lower risk of becoming infected and life-extending antiretroviral treatment would be available for anyone who needs it.
"HIV may be with us into the future until we finally achieve a cure [and] a vaccine, but the disease that HIV causes need not be with us," she said.
She said three interventions will be necessary: Antiretroviral drugs need to be used much more widely so that infected people have little chance of transmitting HIV; circumcision, which reduces female-to-male transmission, must be practiced more widely, and all pregnant HIV-infected women need to be treated with antiretrovirals in order to protect their babies .
She said the United States has spent $1 billion in recent years to prevent mother-to-child transmission and $80 million more will be spent to bring infected pregnant women into long-term care. She also said $40 million more would be spent to circumcise about 500,000 men and boys in South Africa.
• Philanthropist Bill Gates said the world is facing incredible uncertainty about whether wealthy nations will continue funding AIDS programs with the same vigor as in the past.
• "Maybe you think I'm off my rocker," said singer Elton John. "Here I am telling an audience of 7,000 global health experts that you can end AIDS with love."