HIV/AIDS in 2008: Year in Review

It’s the end of December, and everyone’s doing “Year in Review” stories.  And since I often consider myself part of everyone, I may as well join in.

That convoluted introduction aside: here are my picks for the top HIV/AIDS stories of 2008:

>> Health and Social Justice: A Report from the WHO

After a three-year study of the “social determinants of health,” the World Health Organization concluded that “social injustice is killing people on a grand scale.”

>> AIDS 2008, Mexico City

The seventeenth International AIDS Conference in Mexico City brought attention to HIV/AIDS among children, stigmatized groups, people living in Latin America, and more.

>> CDC Dramatically Revises Figures on HIV/AIDS in the U.S.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a new set of statistics after revising their estimate of the incidence of HIV/AIDS in the United States upward by about 40 percent.  The announcement spurred heavy criticism of U.S. domestic AIDS policy/

In other demographic news, major studies revealed high rates of HIV/AIDS among African Americans, Latinos, and southern rural communities.  On a somewhat brighter note, UNAIDS released statistics suggesting that some progress has been made in fighting HIV/AIDS worldwide, though much remains to be done.

>> Election 2008

Vigorous efforts from the ONE Campaign and other advocates helped push candidates to explain their positions on HIV/AIDS, healthcare, development, and related issues.

>> G8 Summit and the Renewal of PEPFAR

Global health and development were hot topics at this year’s G8 Summit, though reactions to the results were mixed.

And in a huge and hard-fought development, the United States Congress voted to spend nearly 50 billion dollars over the next several years to expand the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

What does 2009 have in store for us?  I think it’s pretty obvious that one of the biggest stories in international health — and in general — will continue to be the global economic fiasco/crisis/meltdown.  Then there’s the administration change in Washington, offering the prospect of dramatic revisions to U.S. foreign policy and health systems.  (The amount and type of action we see in these areas will probably depend, again, on economic developments.)  We’ll see….

Happy New Year, everybody!


~ by h.e.g. on December 30, 2008.

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