Although no vaccine against HIV exists, advances in prevention and treatment have led to a growing conviction among researchers, public health officials, and politicians that the HIV/AIDS epidemic can be brought to a halt with existing tools. Fast-Track: ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030, a report released yesterday by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), spells out how this ambitious aim could be achieved. “HIV infections may not disappear in the foreseeable future, but the AIDS epidemic can be ended as a global health threat,” the report asserts.Fast-Track updates UNAIDS estimates about the epidemic today. Some 35 million people were living with HIV at the end of 2013, 2.1 million new infections occurred during that year, and AIDS-related deaths totaled 1.5 million. These were slight drops from 2012 and are mainly the result of a big jump in the number of people in low- and middle-income countries receiving antiretroviral treatment, which went from 9.7 million in 2012 to 13.6 million by June 2014. (Treatment both saves lives and makes infected people less likely to transmit the virus.) “It’s amazing the acceleration that happened,” UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé told ScienceInsider. “In 3 years we’re doing what we used to do in 20 years.”But the report notes that if treatment and prevention efforts remain at 2013 levels, the epidemic will continue to grow and an estimated 41.5 million people will be living with HIV in 2030. Fast-Track sets the “visionary goal” of cutting that number to 29.3 million, which would avert some 28 million infections.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Sidibé says a window of opportunity exists today that will not last. “We have 5 years to leverage and break the trajectory,” Sidibé says. UNAIDS says the key is to increase three things to 90% levels: people who know their HIV status, receive treatment, and adhere to the medication so that the amount of virus in their blood drops below detectable levels.Fast-Track explicitly recognizes that these ambitious targets will be difficult to hit, especially given funding limitations, but contends they have an inherent value. “As previous experience in the AIDS response has demonstrated, time-bound targets drive progress, promote accountability and unite diverse stakeholders in pushing towards common goals,” the report says.In a first, Fast-Track notes that 89% of all new HIV infections occur in 30 countries. It also breaks down by income status of these locales how much money will be required by 2020 to meet the 90-90-90 goals. Low-income countries will need $9.7 billion, lower-middle-income $8.7 billion, and upper-middle-income $17.2 billion. This is roughly double the amount invested today, but UNAIDS estimates that expenses will drop after a peak in 2020. “To end the AIDS epidemic by 2030, the global community will need again to defy expectations,” the report states.Low-income countries will have to dip more into their own coffers: Fast-Track notes that only six governments in Africa have lived up to a commitment made in 2001 to devote 15% of their budgets to health. “We have failed in those countries to show that health is an investment,” Sidibé says. “It’s seen as a cost expenditure by the ministers of finance.” He says countries like China, India, and Brazil also can do more to help sub-Saharan Africa. “Emerging countries should start going beyond just the responsibility of taking care of themselves,” he says. “They need to start building the bridge with the most left-behind countries.”Only four high-income countries are contributing enough compared with their gross domestic products, the report contends. “There is an enormous gap in per capita contributions among donor countries—providing a significant opportunity for many donors to increase their contributions,” it concludes.
Hilton Hotels & Resorts this week celebrated its arrival in Brooklyn’s Boerum Hill with the landmark opening of Hilton Brooklyn New York. Presiding over the corner of Smith and Schermerhorn Streets, a tree-lined enclave of chic shops, trendy restaurants and a lively night scene, Hilton Brooklyn New York sets a new standard of hospitality in Brooklyn. The 19-story mixed-use commercial, retail and condominium development offers 196 spacious guest rooms and suites for travellers looking to experience the buzz and vibrancy that Brooklyn has to offer.“This opening is the latest example of Hilton’s growing presence in the world’s most sought-after destinations,” said Shawn McAteer, Vice President, Global Brand Management, Hilton Hotels & Resorts. “Hilton has set standards of excellence in hospitality for nearly a century and we are ready to redefine the guest experience in Brooklyn with this hotel. With its prime location and on-site restaurant and bar helmed by one of the borough’s most celebrated chefs, Rob Newton, guests will immediately feel in the heart of it all in this thriving community.”The best of the boroughVisitors and locals alike looking to experience authentic Brooklyn fare do not need to travel far as celebrated chef Rob Newton is bringing a piece of the borough into the hotel with his newest venture, Black Walnut – set to be one of the neighbourhood’s hottest new gathering spots. The restaurant, his fourth in Brooklyn, will bring diners a more dynamic, versatile interpretation of Southern cuisine’s many cultures and traditions with a menu that reflects both Newton’s Arkansas roots and years of global travel.With nearby attractions including Barclays Center, Brooklyn Heights Promenade, Brooklyn Museum and Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the hotel puts guests within steps of many quintessential Brooklyn experiences. In addition, Hilton Brooklyn New York is a stone’s throw from 12 different subway lines, ready to whisk visitors to compelling Manhattan attractions.A Brooklyn landmark, rememberedCapturing the neighbourhood’s eclectic vibe, Hilton Brooklyn New York’s design aesthetic includes a rope motif that pays tribute to the Schermerhorn rope factory that previously occupied the site in the 19th-century, braiding rope for New York’s shipbuilding industry. Guests will find references to the site’s history throughout the new-build hotel’s stylish interiors, which are the work of architecture and interior design firm Stonehill & Taylor. Among these references are carpeting patterned with rope imagery running the full length of corridors, and murals of vintage neighbourhood maps lining the walls.A space for every occasionWith 213 square metres of dedicated function space, Hilton Brooklyn New York can accommodate up to 140 attendees for meetings and social events. For business and leisure travellers who want access to services and facilities on their own schedule, the hotel’s round-the-clock amenities include a 24-hour fitness centre, a business centre, grab-and-go pantry and concierge service.“We are delighted to be working with Hilton to introduce news levels of hospitality to Brooklyn’s exciting and ever-changing downtown,” said Don Urgo, President and CEO of Urgo Hotels & Resorts. “As New York City continues to attract a record-breaking number of tourists each year, Brooklyn is now being recognised as a destination all its own, and Hilton Brooklyn New York is strategically placed at the centre of it all.”Hilton Brooklyn New York participates in Hilton HHonors®, the award-winning guest-loyalty programme for Hilton. To mark the hotel’s opening, Hilton HHonors members who stay at the hotel through 29 May 2017 will earn 1000 Bonus Points per night along with instant benefits, including an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else, free standard Wi-Fi and digital check-in.