AIDS is the crisis of our time: It is projected that by 2005, more than 100 million people worldwide will have become HIV+, and in this pandemic, reality has consistently outpaced projections. Each day, 14,000 people become HIV+, with the fastest growing rates now found in the former Soviet Union, where new infections in 2000 surpassed all previous years combined. By 2010, more than 40 million children will have been orphaned by AIDS in Africa alone, roughly the same number as all children attending public school in the US.

AIDS is a public health crisis, a development crisis, an economic and trade crisis, and a security and stability crisis with far reaching ramifications for us all.

Opportunities to turn the tide await: The gravity of the AIDS challenge should not be seen as cause for hopelessness and resignation, but for advocacy and action. In the two decades of living with AIDS, important lessons have been learned and effective programs have been designed, implemented, and evaluated in Africa and around the world. At community and country-levels, actions have been taken to slash the rate of new HIV infections, to care for those who are sick, and to support children and families left behind.

Gaps in will and wallet exist, but can and must be closed: Much has been done in the past two years to increase the concerted action against AIDS. The US Government tripled its budget and urged its allies to do the same. Bill Gates became a major donor and others joined the fight. Unfortunately, overall contributions are still far from what is needed to meet the AIDS challenge. The global community raised $80 billion to fight the Y2K virus, without a single casualty, but less than 1% of that to fight the AIDS virus. At least $4 billion more a year is needed. The time to close the gap is now.

The International AIDS Trust can help to seize the moment: The International AIDS Trust was established to create strategic opportunities for galvanizing leadership, mobilizing resources, and promoting effective interventions in the global battle against AIDS. The International AIDS Trust is a single-focused NGO with both long-range vision and rapid response capability. While the Trust is new, its principals shaped the expanded US Government's response to this pandemic and now seek to bring the same energy and skill to a private sector venture. Here's how:

Public Education—to increase awareness about the global AIDS pandemic - both the crisis and the opportunity - among the general public, policy makers, media, and private business sector, labor, religious, and foundation leaders in a coordinated campaign to increase investment and to close the global AIDS resource gap;
Program & Policy—to assist in the development and implementation of effective programs and policies on the ground in the developing world, that build on proven principles and are adaptable to meet the particular needs and cultural circumstances of a given situation - with a special emphasis on increasing access to essential care and treatment; and
Leadership, Partnership, and Investment: to engage new players and establish new and strategic alliances; to serve as a "niche-finder" and broker able to match public and private sector resources with AIDS prevention, care, and support opportunities on the ground in the developing world.