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Copenhagen Consensus Center

Georgetown University Youth Forum

At Georgetown University in September 2011, a group of students from the school and other Washington, DC-area universities gathered for a RethinkHIV Youth Forum hosted by the Copenhagen Consensus Center and the Rush Foundation. The students who attended were those interested in the fight against AIDS in Africa; the vast majority were students of medical or social sciences, not economic sciences.

Presentations were made by Civil Society Observer Bactrin Killingo and Rush Foundation President Marina Galanti. They and RethinkHIV author Professor Bill McGreevey discussed priorities with the youths. 

Copenhagen Consensus Center director Bjørn Lomborg guided students through the key findings of each of the RethinkHIV Assessment Papers, and students engaged in a prioritization exercise designed to answer the question:

If we successfully raised an additional US$10 billion over the next 5 years to combat HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa, how could it best be spent?

Students discussed and identified their own views about priorities for investment, and an overall list of priorities was formed based on each individual's final rankings. These indicate the investments where, overall, students felt that additional funds should first be directed. 

The Ranking by the Georgetown University Youth Forum

  1. Make blood transfusions safe by achieving 100 per cent coverage of quality-assured HIV testing of donated blood
  2. Prevent mother-to-child transmission by scaling up Option A treatment of pregnant women and breast feeding infants to 90 per cent coverage in all countries
  3. Large-scale home- and clinic-based HIV testing and counseling focusing on young adults in high HIV prevalence countries
  4. Scale-up male circumcision for young adults in high HIV prevalence countries
  5. Create incentive for less risky sexual behavior by offering conditional cash transfers to all girls from impoverished families to keep them in secondary school
  6. Create an Abuja Goals Fund offering a 'cash-on-delivery ' incentive to nations that meet Abuja Declaration target of spending 15 per cent of public revenues on public health
  7. Enhance numbers, training and skill-development of community health workers to strengthen basic health services for the rural population 
  8. Introduce 25 per cent increase on alcohol taxes in countries with moderate-to-high levels of drinking and high adult mortality
  9. Add gender and HIV training to micro-finance and livelihood programs to reach 1.7 million adults or 20 per cent of the adult population currently enrolled
  10. Create incentive for universal testing, information and counseling with a conditional cash transfer of US$5 to all 400 million adults
  11. Scale-up antiretroviral treatment starting with the most sick and most infectious patients first
  12. Accelerate AIDS vaccine development by scaling up funding for innovative vaccine research by 10 per cent or $100 million per year
  13. Make 95 per cent of medical injections safe by providing adequate supply of auto-disposable syringes and training of health staff in medical equipment disposal
  14. Focused treatment of HIV+ patients to reduce the opportunistic infection of Cryptococcal Meningitis
  15. One-time innovative information campaign using mass media and peer group counseling in high HIV prevalence countries
  16. Reduce risky injecting drug user behavior in Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania by increasing coverage rate to 60 per cent for outreach, information and education campaigns, needle and syringe exchange programs and opioid substitution therapy
  17. Increase coverage of community mobilization and stigma reduction programs by 30 per cent or 18 million adults