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A U.N. Declaration on Ending AIDS Should Have Been Easy. It Wasn’t.

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On Tuesday, the United Nations is expected to adopt new targets for ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030, seemingly a goal most countries could easily have agreed to.

But consensus has been elusive. In early negotiations over the agreement, called a political declaration, the United States and the European Union fought to ban policies and laws that stigmatize, or even criminalize, high-risk groups — and drastically scaled back moves to relax patent protections for H.I.V.

drugs. The U.N. declaration sets priorities for the global AIDS response and guides policies at a national level. It also gives global health organizations and civil society organizations leverage to pressure governments to honor their commitments.

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