NEW YORK – It is dangerous to believe that the end of AIDS is in sight. Around 30 million people around the world live with HIV, and another 30 million are likely to become infected in the next decade if current trends persist. Funding from developed governments is dropping – a trend that must be reversed. But we also need to acknowledge that billions of dollars have been spent on well-meaning attempts to save lives, with an alarming lack of high-quality evaluation of how these investments have performed.
This is true not only of abstinence campaigns, for which there is no evidence of effectiveness, but also for many other mainstays of the AIDS response. On a systemic level, we do not know what works, where, and why – or how to replicate our successes.