‘Ending AIDS’ or scaling down the HIV response?
This chapter highlights contested social terrain surrounding the ‘End of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)’ discourse. ‘Ending AIDS’ may thus provide a timely exit strategy for donors fatigued by the long-term, hard work necessary to feasibly make inroads against AIDS. The politics of shifting priorities and slogans in the definition of Human Immuno-Deficiency Virus (HIV) response strategies is hardly new. It is important to remember that just prior to the emergence of ‘End of AIDS’ discourses, the so-called ‘AIDS Backlash’ was in full swing. What is most troubling is that the ‘End of AIDS’ discourse has managed to discredit and open the door to de-funding the very interventions and investments that have the potential to make treatment and prevention more successful. The Donald Trump administration’s broader assault on women’s health and rights seems almost guaranteed to continue to spill over into HIV and AIDS funding which is a key part of aid for reproductive and sexual health and rights more generally.