In July 2005, at the G8 summit in Gleneagles, G8 leaders made a commitment to: "as close as possible to universal access to [HIV/AIDS] treatment for all those who need it by 2010." As the second largest donor on HIV/AIDS, the UK has a special responsibility to maintain global commitment to this goal. DFID should establish a transparent monitoring system which will allow year-on-year external evaluation of how many people are being treated, and whether they are getting access to quality treatment.
DFID must continue to work to expand the capacity of developing countries to utilise flexibilities in the TRIPS agreement, to gain access to affordable medicines. The WTO needs to undertake a review of the implementation of the TRIPS agreement, to assess whether it has compromised public health in developing countries. Donors need to work together to ensure sustainable and predictable funding for HIV/AIDS programmes, to prevent the IMF from dissuading countries from investing in their public health infrastructure. If universal access to treatment is to be achieved, the particular needs of vulnerable groups including children, intravenous drug users and men who have sex with men, must be addressed.
DFID must work hard to ensure that its progressive policies are actually implemented on the ground. All government departments must work together to ensure that their policies on HIV/AIDS are coherent. In particular there needs to be greater cross-Whitehall coordination over policy on individuals with no right to reside in the UK, and HIV/AIDS treatment.
Universal access to HIV/AIDS treatment will only be achieved if treatment programmes are accompanied by a scaling-up of evidence-based HIV prevention programmes. Given the increasingly moralistic tone of prevention programmes implemented by the United States, and their preference for bilateral donor relations, DFID has a crucial role to play as a leader in the wider global response to HIV/AIDS.