Purpose of review: The declaration of the United Nations High Level meeting on AIDS in June 2011 includes 10 concrete targets, including to ensure that there are 15 million people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) on antiretroviral treatment (ART) by 2015. This review examines the potential, opportunities and challenges of treatment as prevention of HIV and tuberculosis (TB) in reaching this target.
Recent findings: Although around 8 million people are on treatment, everyone living with HIV will eventually need ART to stay alive. As many as 24 million people living with HIV today are not on treatment, the majority not even being aware of their HIV infection. Expansion of a comprehensive prevention strategy including providing ART to 15 million or more people would significantly reduce HIV and TB morbidity, mortality and transmission. The challenges include ensuring human rights protections, steady drug supply, early diagnosis and linkage to care, task shifting, adherence, retention, and monitoring and evaluation. Expansion could also lead to the control and possible elimination of HIV in many places.
Summary: Achieving an 'AIDS-free generation' whereby deaths related to HIV are drastically reduced, people living with HIV are AIDS-free on ART, and HIV transmission is decreased, is both scientifically sound and practically feasible. The global community could reach 15 million people on ART by 2015 while expanding our vision and efforts to include diagnosis and treatment for all the 32 million people living with HIV in the future.