World AIDS Day 2015: We have ‘never been closer’ to a medical breakthrough

Eoghan Walsh Global Health, HIV & AIDS

world aids day 2015To mark World AIDS Day 2015 two champions of the fight against diseases of poverty in the European Parliament, Theresa Griffin and Linda McAvan (both MEPs), write at The Parliament Magazine about how we can harness innovation to turn the tide on HIV and AIDS. Read the original article here.

As the European Year for Development draws to a close this month, we can take time to recognise the significant global development achievements that have been made in the last three decades. Malaria is on the retreat, polio has been eradicated from all but two countries in the world, and the roll-out of immunisation programmes and vaccines has been one of the biggest public health achievements of the last 15 years.

World AIDS Day 2015: much done, more to do

It seems fitting that, in the year that European and world leaders committed to the eradication of malaria, HIV/AIDS and TB as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Nobel Prize for medicine will be awarded this month to honor the discovery of new therapies to treat parasitic diseases such as malaria and river blindness; drugs that save thousands of lives every year.

With such strides being made to improve health around the globe, on World AIDS Day, what is the state of progress in overcoming HIV/AIDS worldwide, and how can we – the EU institutions, national governments, and the wider development community – do better?

For the first time in global health history, as part of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the world has reached a global treatment target in time: providing antiretroviral therapy (ART) to 15 million people by 2015. 73% of pregnant women living with HIV now have access to antiretroviral medicines to prevent transmission of HIV to their babies; at the same time new HIV infections among children have been reduced by 58% since 2000.

For the full article, click here.


Theresa Griffin is a British MEP and Labor Party spokeswoman for the European Parliament’s Industry, Research and Energy Committee. A committed trade union activist, she has campaigned closely with unions on employment rights, health, disability, rights for young people and equality.

Linda McAvan is a British member of the European Parliament for the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats. She is the Chair of the European Parliament’s Development Committee.